A very bad 12 hours for the Obama campaign

The Obama campaign is fast running out of bullets.

The double-whammy of Bill Clinton’s remarks last night — about Mitt Romney’s “sterling business career” — and the abysmal job-creation numbers that came out this morning has got to force some soul-searching from the West Wing to Hyde Park.

The Obama campaign will look simply foolish trying to continue peddling its attacks on Romney’s years at Bain Capital after what Clinton said on CNN last night:

In case you didn’t/can’t watch, here’s the gist:

So I don’t think that we ought to get in the position where we say this is bad work, this is good work. I think, however, the real issue ought to be what has Governor Romney advocated in the campaign that he will do as president? What has President Obama done and what does he propose to do? How do these things stack up against each other, that’s the most relevant thing. There’s no question that in terms of getting up and going to the office and, you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who’s been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.

Clinton went on to say he believes the Obama record and proposals would be better for America than Romney’s would be, and it would be a far bigger story if he had said otherwise. But if Obama believes that, too, why isn’t he running on his record? In large part, I have to believe, because the record is not good. And that doesn’t help his pitch when his proposals are basically for more of the same.

In any case, the damage was done before Clinton made those qualifying remarks, because his defense of Romney’s qualifications are a direct contradiction of the distinction Obama tried to make recently: that running a private-equity firm doesn’t match up well with the job description for the presidency.

With the Democratic Party’s elder statesman now joining those other Democrats who have expressed misgivings about the Obama campaign’s anti-Bain attacks, the attacks are all but neutralized. More and more, Obama looks out of step with his own party on this issue.

And his record on the economy gets harder to defend with each report showing the economy has no momentum. Jobs growth of 69,000 in May represents about half of what’s needed simply to keep up with population growth. The rest of the report is a mixed bag at best: The labor force participation rate nudged upward, which is good news, but unfortunately so did the number of people working part-time who would prefer to work full-time.

Earlier this week, economic growth in the first quarter was revised downward to 1.9 percent from the initial estimate of 2.2 percent. The bad economic news and worries from Europe during the past week pushed the Dow this morning into the red for the year. The S&P 500 is still ahead for 2012, but it’s down almost 10 percent in the past two months. So, retirement accounts are taking a beating right now, and that won’t give people confidence.

As long as this drumbeat of bad economic news keeps up, there will be regular interruptions in the Obama campaign’s preferred narrative of distraction issues: the “war on women,” etc.

Ironically, the best argument for Obama right now is that the president never deserves as much credit or blame for the economy as he gets. And that’s true. The problem is that you can’t very well make that argument on behalf of a president who has spent three-plus years trying to gain more control of the economy through higher spending and more regulation.

It seems to me this leaves the president with one choice: Presenting a raft of new ideas for the future. The problem with that tactic is his demonstrated lack of ideas that are anything more than recycled efforts from Democratic presidents past, Europe, or both: “stimulus” spending financed through borrowing or higher taxes on “the rich,” greater government control of health care, cap and trade, and so on.

The longer this pattern persists, the more likely it is to show up in the polls. Already, we’re seeing Obama’s number steadily declining, even as he remains a couple of points above Romney on average. As the incumbent, Obama doesn’t want to see his numbers consistently in the 45-47 percent range, even this far out. He’s the more-known quantity, and it suggests people don’t like what they know.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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179 comments Add your comment

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 1st, 2012
11:39 am

A bad 12 hours for Obama is a good 12 hours for the future health of America.

redneckbluedog

June 1st, 2012
11:54 am

YEP….Obama sucks…but the alternative looks like this….

We either enter an unbudgeted war with Iran or head into a deflationary spiral…

we will then either turn directly Socialist….OR….

try austerity like France and Greece, which will fail miserably……THEN….

will turn Socialist….

iggy

June 1st, 2012
11:54 am

Failing policies, Clinton, Jobs numbers…LOL!! Just keeps getting better.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
11:55 am

wow, so easy to see Conservatives want America to fail. They are rooting for it!

just because they didn’t win the white house 4 years ago.

Is that the definition of patriotism?

iggy

June 1st, 2012
11:58 am

Right now America is failing but not because of Conservative desires.

Progressive Humanist

June 1st, 2012
12:00 pm

Higher spending and more regulation by this administration is a myth, and myths don’t become real the more times you tell them. You put “rich” in quotes as if the wealthiest one percent of the country don’t actually qualify as rich. What world do you live in?

And we haven’t actually tried cap and trade, or government control of healthcare, or even a sufficient stimulus yet. None of those have actually gone into effect, although they need to.

What we have tried is the same failed policies that got us into this mess and that Romney would bring back if he had the chance- lowering taxes on the wealthy at a time of historically low taxes and crumbling infrastructure, continuing U.S. involvement in foreign wars with the associated human and monetary costs, more deregulation of financial industries so that they reap all the benefits while taxpayers pay all the costs, closing down factories and industries in the U.S. only to ship the jobs overseas. Of course we’ll have lowlifes like Tiberius come on here rooting for the U.S. to fail, but if Romney becomes president, which is still a real long shot, it will make this recent recession seem like the good old days when unemployment hits 25% and poverty is at 40%.

Grasshopper

June 1st, 2012
12:00 pm

Did you catch Obama’s hatchet man – David Axelrod – getting hammered by the crowd in Boston yesterday?

Priceless! I bet they don’t roll his carcass out to many unscripted events in the future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sny_Wkgf6g&feature=related

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:00 pm

Supply creates its own demand.

There’s an endless supply of apples at Kroger, but I just don’t have a demand for more than one a day – no matter the price. My demand is limited.

Sony and Panasonic make an endless supply of tv’s but I only have so many room in my house to put one. My demand is limited.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:03 pm

Now I know what Hannity means when he says “You’re a Great American.”

It means you’re just like me – you want to see the country fail and totally fall apart just so’s we can get my guy (who is pretty much just like their guy) into the White House.

HIPPOCRIT

June 1st, 2012
12:07 pm

PROG HUM wants us to try the policies that have Europe on the brink of collapse (cap & trade, stimulus, govt healthcare, )

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:08 pm

Supply creates its own demand.

If Apple marks the Ipod down to $5, why would I want more than 2? Can I listen to more than one at a time? The second one purchased would be to get a separate charger so’s I don’t have to tote a charger between work and home.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 1st, 2012
12:09 pm

Laughing out loud watching the liberal panel on Alex Wagner’s MSNBC show trying to find ways to spin this as anything but disastrous news for Obama.

And of course I want America to fail, Finn. If it didn’t it would give someone an idea that these policies of the past 3 years were somehow good for America.

Which have, of course, been proven to be bad for America.

TallaDawg

June 1st, 2012
12:09 pm

The only policy “failures” have been because Republican-controlled Congress eviscerated the Healthcare bill to ensure insurance companies were allowed to hold Americans hostage and stood in the way of the kind of tax reform that is necessary to help the majority of Americans.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 1st, 2012
12:13 pm

TallaDawg, Obama had 2 whole years of a nearly filibuster-proof legislature, and didn’t enact ANYTHING worth a damn.

That “Dawg” don’t hunt with the intelligent people out here.

Rafe Hollister- trying to save the Choom Gang

June 1st, 2012
12:16 pm

Prediction, the Keystone Pipeline will soon be found to be feasible after all. Anything to improve those job numbers. Guess Oblamer can then blame the delay in approving it to GWB.

Thinking over Attitude

June 1st, 2012
12:20 pm

“The problem with that tactic is his demonstrated lack of ideas…”

And the Repubs’ great ideas besides no, party always before country and screw the poor/make the rich richer?

Rafe Hollister- trying to save the Choom Gang

June 1st, 2012
12:23 pm

The Dems are so transparent and hypocritical. Now they are bashing Clinton, who two days ago was the best President we ever had. He had the right tax structure, he balanced the budget, he raised taxes, he restored America. Now he is persona non gratis. To treat our first black president and first messiah that way is just not nice.

Where are all those bloggers who kept telling us things were better now, we just had not given credit to Mr. Oblamer. This will be the third summer of recovery, I’m guessing.

Now Conservatives are accused of wanting America to fail, but didn’t the Dems do the exact same thing to GWB. Nancy Pelosi, where are the jobs Mr. President. Hairy the Reed, the war is lost. Worst economy in 50 years, Barack H Oblamer. He betrayed his country, Algore. Turnaround is heck, I guess.

Rafe Hollister- trying to save the Choom Gang

June 1st, 2012
12:28 pm

Talladawg, sure hope your name doesn’t mean you attended UGA.

Oblamer bought off the insurance companies and the drug companies before he launched Oblamercare. Notice none of these big companies came forward and put up a vigorous campaign against his hodgepodge legislation. They got all they could get before the debate began.

iggy

June 1st, 2012
12:29 pm

The libDuhls have any and every excuse for the failures of their glorious leader. And unlike 4 years ago, now everything is sticking to this latest of “Teflon Dons”.

Bobby

June 1st, 2012
12:29 pm

As bad as the news may be, it’s still better than if the Republicans were in control. We would have even few jobs and more people trying to get public assistance just to survive. But the wealthy would still be gaining in their income.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:33 pm

What the heck happened?

For the first 10 year of my life a candy bar was $00.25. For the last 36 years they’ve been $.50.

Now they’re a whole buck!? What the hay?

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 1st, 2012
12:34 pm

“As bad as the news may be, it’s still better than if the Republicans were in control. We would have even few jobs and more people trying to get public assistance just to survive.”

Really, Bobby?

What are the Mega-Millions numbers for this weekend, so I know just how good your psychic abilities are . . . :roll:

Darwin

June 1st, 2012
12:36 pm

I know I know – smaller government, less taxes and regulation.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:36 pm

Granted we libs bi$ched and moaned incessantly about Bush’s policies and actions but we never wanted America to fail just so we could get a Democrat in office.

As can be seen, Obama isn’t that much different from W. Many of the same policies – torture, waging wars we can’t afford, etc.

Hillbilly D

June 1st, 2012
12:37 pm

I’m beginning to think neither candidate really wants to win this election. :lol:

Bryan G.

June 1st, 2012
12:38 pm

Also, Obama can’t downplay the role the President plays in the economy since he’s been spending 3 years blaming George Bush for supposedly wrecking it. That would be inconsistent, even for this administration.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

June 1st, 2012
12:38 pm

766K MORE WOMEN UNEMPLOYED TODAY THAN WHEN OBOZO TOOK OFFICE…

Who’s at “war with women?”

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 1st, 2012
12:40 pm

“Granted we libs bi$ched and moaned incessantly about Bush’s policies and actions but we never wanted America to fail just so we could get a Democrat in office.”

Because your stinkin’ policies were still in effect, just not making this country worse, Finn.

Obama has proved that the policies of government interference in the markets is a failed policy. At least he’s done SOMETHING good for our future.

Thinking over Attitude

June 1st, 2012
12:41 pm

Bobby 1
Tiberius 0

Good one here from Thomas Friedman for those of you still using your brains and caring about our country, not the us vs. them:

“’Obamacare is socialized medicine,’ says the Republican Party. No, no — excuse me — socialized medicine is what we have now! People without insurance can go to an emergency ward or throw themselves on the mercy of a doctor, and the cost of all this uncompensated care is shared by all those who have insurance, raising your rates and mine. That is socialized medicine and that is what Obamacare ends.”

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:44 pm

This is what Tiberius and iggy sing:

“Stand beside her, and guide her…unless there’s a Democrat in office”

These guys are like the Cons that yell “Support the Troops” and then vote in Republicans who want to slash veterans benefits.

But it’s a free country…..we even allow those of the treasonous mentality.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:48 pm

Thinking Over Attitude,

The problem is it’s these poor Cons who use that free healthcare and don’t want to have to pay their own way…

iggy

June 1st, 2012
12:48 pm

“That is socialized medicine and that is what Obamacare ends.”

Nope. Buried in Obama care is the collection of fines, for those refusing to obtain HCare. However, while IRS is in charge of the fines, they have no authority to collect.

Just another ObamaCareFarce.

iggy

June 1st, 2012
12:50 pm

“Stand beside her, and guide her…unless there’s a Democrat in office”

LOL…never heard that version before…LOL.

iggy

June 1st, 2012
12:51 pm

I know of zero Cons who use free HCare. We pay our way! I believe you are thinking of the illegal immigunts and the Obama/Dem voters.

Darwin

June 1st, 2012
12:53 pm

Don’t read too much into Clinton’s remarks. The campaign has to walk a fine line in trying to contrast what private equity firms do compared to what the government can do for the economy. It’s not that we liberals hate free enterprise, we’re all for it. We just recognize the fact that we also have anti-trust laws out there to control market monopolies that kill free enterprise. It’s a balancing act for those of you who don’t understand.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:54 pm

iggy, that collection of fines is what would make it no longer free health care for the great unwashed conservative masses.

iggy

June 1st, 2012
12:55 pm

Finn, for all his life has enjoyed the “Zero” candy bar as its name reminds him of himself.

iggy

June 1st, 2012
12:56 pm

Read again…the IRS has no authority to collect.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
12:58 pm

the only people i’ve ever known who had to work three jobs at minimum wage with not benefits were staunchly conservative.

yuzeyurbrane

June 1st, 2012
12:59 pm

So what? Assuming, arguendo, that Romney was a sterling businessman, what does making a profit have to do with the enterprise of govt.? I will agree that Clinton’s remarks are not helpful to Obama but that will be a news cycle type hit. More problematical is the economy because whether or not the Republican austerity proposals would lead to economic disaster, the key is public perception in November. And, as Bill Clinton’s slogan once said: “It’s the economy stupid!”

MrLiberty

June 1st, 2012
1:04 pm

Screw the last 12 hours. It has been horrible past 12 years for american freedom and liberty. If it wasn’t for Ron Paul and his followers shining the light on these scoundrels one can only imagine how horrible this country would now be.

Don't Tread

June 1st, 2012
1:05 pm

0bama can’t run on his record, so the only option left is make up some lies about the other side. That works great for the welfare recipients, people who vote based on skin color, and others that make up the Democrat base, but independents with a brain know better.

John Galt

June 1st, 2012
1:09 pm

It’s been a very bad 3 1/2 years for the American worker. And we have not yet seen the impact of Obamacare or Frank-Dodd.

iggy

June 1st, 2012
1:11 pm

“the only people i’ve ever known who had to work three jobs at minimum wage with not benefits were staunchly conservative.”

Thats because the unwashed democratic welfare moms/dads refuse to work. They would rather wait by the mailbox for their ObamaCheck.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
1:16 pm

Don’t Tread,
What lies would that be?

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 1st, 2012
1:19 pm

When Donald Trump hijacked the news this week with his latest birther ravings and Mitt Romney refused to repudiate him, Bob Inglis could only sigh.
“It really damages our credibility to not deal in facts,” the former South Carolina congressman told Salon. “The fact is the president is an American. The fact is the president is not a socialist. He’s left of center – he’s way left of me. But he’s not a socialist. There’s a difference.”
The prevailing theory is that Romney, who shared the stage with Trump at a fundraiser Tuesday night, bit his tongue for fear of offending a Republican base that contains more than a few voters who are sympathetic to Trump’s views. Inglis knows all about that kind of pressure: He may be the signature victim of the intraparty revolt that has defined the Obama-era Republican Party, a one-time rising star with a deeply conservative voting record who was nonetheless defeated in a 2010 primary – by 42 points.

The Republican party has been hijacked by hateful, fear-mongering, lot who want to see America fail so they can get a guy in office for 4 years. Sad. Really really Sad. Ronnie is rolling over in his grave.

MarkV

June 1st, 2012
1:21 pm

Kyle, not surprisingly , has downplayed Clinton’s judgment that Obama’ record and proposal would be far better from the economy and the American people than what Romney has proposed. Clinton view that Romney has “crossed the qualification threshold” is hardly a great approbation.

iggy

June 1st, 2012
1:21 pm

Finn is dropping propoganda bombs…lol

Rafe Hollister- trying to save the Choom Gang

June 1st, 2012
1:22 pm

Thinking
People without insurance can go to an emergency ward or throw themselves on the mercy of a doctor, and the cost of all this uncompensated care is shared by all those who have insurance, raising your rates and mine.

You guys are so duplicitous. During the debate over Oblamacare, you tried to convince us that the system did not work, that the poor, were dying outside ER’s, going without treatment as no one would treat them, emergency treatment was expensive and we could lower cost by forcing everyone to buy health insurance for the poor.

Now you are saying that all this free treatment they were getting was socialism.

Which lie do you want to stick with?

retiredds

June 1st, 2012
1:23 pm

a bad 12 hours for Obama, followed by a good 12 hours for Obama, followed by a bad 12 hours for Obama, followed by a good 12 hours for Obama, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Sort of like the stock market. Oh, have any conservatives thanked Obama for bringing gas prices down, or do you only blame when they go up? Let the commodity markets rock and roll!!!