Another Bad Jobs Report May Undercut Rove's Whole Strategy
Here’s a look at the Bush prosperity that the GOP is touting this week:
As Soccerdad noted in his earlier piece, nearly three years into a recovery, first-time filings for unemployment insurance rose by 19,000 from the previous week, up to 362,000. This was unexpected by analysts, who were expecting the figure to actually drop to 340,000 last week. The Labor Department of course was quick to blame the effects of Hurricane Charley for the increase in claims, yet even they admit that less than half of the increase is attributed to Charley, and analysts feel that Charley will have less of an impact in the results of the August job numbers, which will be released tomorrow after Mr. Bush tells us tonight how great everything is.
According to his political advisers, BC04 will campaign on the assumption that voters are unhappy with the economy, but will still trust Bush to deal with it, rather than Kerry. That’s a pretty big assumption, and it stems from Rove’s plan to discredit Kerry and tear him down as a potential leader first so that voters don’t believe what Kerry says on the economy, and then vote for Bush despite his actual record of failure anyway. Some in the GOP complain that Bush must lay out what he will do in a second term to address a lackluster job market and a cooling economy, starting with tonight’s speech. But according to the Post and other media sources, Bush’s main emphasis will be to push an “ownership society” for the investor class, which sounds like a candidate who plans to skirt the more immediate concerns of many about jobs and health care now. It remains unclear how such talk will work on the large block of voters who are more concerned about the here and now of staying afloat in the event of a job loss or health emergency than any Trojan horse plans to shift responsibility for your health care and pension onto your backs at a time of economic uncertainty.
More job claim figures like today’s, or a possible weak jobs report tomorrow will only undercut the Bush/Rove plan further., no matter how the Bush Administration tries to change or doctor the economic reports to its benefit.