29 March 2010

The President: Last Week vs This Week

What the President of the United States achieved last week:
- Signed health care legislation that covers 30 million more Americans;
- Put a solid student loans reform package in place, thus allowing millions of additional Americans to get a college education;
- Worked with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear warheads in the world;
- Made some recess appointments to key government posts for positions that were being blocked by Republican senators for no other reason than to block them;
- Flew to Afghanistan to meet with U.S. troops and the Afghan president.
Yet, since last week the President's approval rating has dropped from 51% to 46%. While I believe a large majority of Americans will eventually appreciate and approve of the health care bill passed last week, they are wondering when congress and the White House will focus, at least publicly, on the unemployment crisis with the same full-on gusto.

As I said last week, the only way the President can use his new found momentum to his advantage would be to focus on jobs, jobs, and jobs. Climate change, education, and the other important issues of our day should be tackled behind the scenes by the appropriate cabinet officials. But if he is to spare his party a devestating mid-term election result this November, the President, in using his bully pulpit, needs focus solely on the jobs situation. He needs to showcase for the American voting public that his only focus right now is their lot in life.

Such focus could be a win-win for the Democrats: Americans would appreciate that the administration and congress are at least trying everything they can to rectify the stubbornly high unemployment rate; and voters would see Republicans for the obstructionists they are, as the fascists among the GOP ranks would more than likely block every jobs initiative the Democrats put forward.

Barring a miraculous economic turn around between now and November, the Democrats are still likely to lose seats in congress. That's just the nature of the beast (Republicans lost 25 House seats in Reagan's first mid-term election). But I sincerely believe if President Obama and the current congress put all of their efforts into job creation, even if only a few jobs are generated, it could mean the difference between a 40+ seat loss in the House (if they do nothing) and a 10 to 20 seat loss (if they spend every minute between now and November tackling unemployment).

So, again Mr. President, the only three words out of your mouth for the next several months should be "jobs," "jobs," and "jobs."