Obama’s emptiness and stridency relates to one thing: jobs

posted at 12:01 pm on November 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve really come down to closing arguments now in the presidential election, where candidates usually lay out the best positive case for voter support.  As I’ve noted since the debates, Democrats seem to be going in the opposite direction, stepping up personal attacks against Mitt Romney rather than argue for another four years of Barack Obama.  George Will notices the same trend, even with Obama himself and his campaign, and writes in the Washington Post that President Hopenchange has gone “empty and strident”:

Energetic in body but indolent in mind, Barack Obama in his frenetic campaigning for a second term is promising to replicate his first term, although simply apologizing would be appropriate. His long campaign’s bilious tone — scurrilities about Mitt Romney as a monster of, at best, callous indifference; adolescent japes about “Romnesia” — is discordant coming from someone who has favorably compared his achievements to those of “any president” since Lincoln, with the “possible” exceptions of Lincoln, LBJ and FDR. Obama’s oceanic self-esteem — no deficit there — may explain why he seems to smolder with resentment that he must actually ask for a second term. …

His only notable new idea in this campaign is to alter the First Amendment in order to empower government to restrict the amount of permissible political speech — speech about the composition and conduct of government. Nancy Pelosi pledges that if Democrats control the House, they will pass this constriction of the Bill of Rights on the first day.

All politicians are to some extent salesmen. But Obama, having devalued the coin of presidential rhetoric by the promiscuous production of it, increasingly resembles a particular salesman, Arthur Miller’s Willy Loman:

“For a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don’t put a bolt to a nut, he don’t tell you the law or give you medicine. He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that’s an earthquake.”

Why the empty stridency of the last days of Obama’s last campaign?

That question is easy to answer. Obama has no record on which to run.  His biggest accomplishments have been passing a sweeping health-insurance mandate few wanted, Dodd-Frank regulation that has already begun costing people hikes in banking fees as well as jobs from lost capital investment, and the Lily Ledbetter Act — which his own running mate admitted wasn’t much of an accomplishment anyway.  On the core issues of jobs and the economy, Obama has no real argument, and no real plan to change the current trajectory of stagnation and decline.

That doesn’t mean Obama isn’t attempting to make an argument out of it, no matter how half-hearted and deceptive.  Earlier this week, Team Obama released this chart through social media as their argument for Obama as a job creator:

Obama created 5.2 million private-sector jobs in 31 months, the campaign claimed, insisting that they have fixed a broken economy.  In my column today for The Fiscal Times, I dismantle that argument with a few charts of my own — and the proper context of this chart:

When Obama took office, the US had 110,985,000 private-sector jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and its Establishment Survey, the source of the data in Obama’s chart. As of the data for September 2012, the US has 111,499,000 private-sector jobs, for a grand total increase of 514,000 jobs in nearly four years.  That’s one-tenth of the jobs Obama claims were created.

Part of the disconnect is that the US continued to bleed jobs from the recession that started before Obama took office.  How about from the start of the recovery – which, readers will recall, began four months after Obama got his $800 billion stimulus plan passed in Congress?  As of June 2009, the US had 107,933,000 private-sector jobs, which means we have gained 3.566 million jobs in this sector during the entire 40-month recovery.

That’s an average of 89,150 jobs per month – which doesn’t come close to keeping pace with population growth.  Economists put the threshold for new jobs in relation to population growth at 125,000 per month.   In order to regain the jobs lost during the recession, we’d need to see job growth at a level of 250,000 sustained over as long as five years. This is one reason why Obama’s chart doesn’t show any numbers on the axes, which would indicate just how weak even the better months on this series have been.  In the 31 months Obama cites, we have hit or surpassed the 250,000 mark only five times.

The column includes charts that show the actual amount of job growth in relation to the population.  We’ve seen plenty of the civilian population participation rate, which shows the workforce (those with jobs and actively looking for work) in relation to the population; this hit a 31-year low in August and has steadily declined through the recovery, for reasons noted above.  One metric we don’t mention as often here is the employment-population ratio, which measures employed workers against the general population.  This actually looks more dramatic:

The Obama recovery started in June 2009, and the stimulus bill passed in February 2009.  Neither have had any real impact on improving employment in the US; we’re stuckbelow the bottom level of the recession.

With a record like this, it’s small wonder that Obama and his team have nothing but “empty stridency” in their final days.  They’re as out of arguments for another four years as they are out of ideas for what to do with them.


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I hope Obama will be looking for a new job in a few days.

Drained Brain on November 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I’ve seen that Obama chart on Facebook a lot. The sheep lap it up.

changer1701 on November 1, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Obama is empty, but you know what he has done a helluva job filling?????

…..coffins.... He’s done a great job filling coffins and turning ambassadors, SEALs in particular, as well as others into corpses and shovel ready projects.

Remember Benghazi.

ted c on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance…

kingsjester on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

At this moment, Obama is speaking in WI. He is saying bizarre things like he has never been President. Red state/ blue state type stuff.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

ted c on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Hey ted, got another one for you today.

kingsjester on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

When even the Washington Post notices Obama is a stinking loser, then it’s over.

Cicero43 on November 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

This is from the Houston Chronicle.How much money did this bunch get from Obama?
http://www.chron.com/cars/article/1-6-million-in-electric-cars-burn-after-4000001.php

docflash on November 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

With a record like this, it’s small wonder that Obama and his team have nothing but “empty stridency” in their final days. They’re as out of arguments for another four years as they are out of ideas for what to do with them.

Time to trot out the “insiders” to gush about how sensitive and super-smart the rat-eared wonder really is. That he doesn’t need no stinkin’ daily security brief because he voraciously reads it on his IPad.

Happy Nomad on November 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Actually, Obama just gave a very good speech. Very inspirational. Yet, totally delusional.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I hope Obama will be looking for a new job in a few days.
Drained Brain on November 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I don’t think he is planning to work much, win or lose.

cheetah2 on November 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Tomorrow! 5.0% Unemployement!

Just watch.

Oil Can on November 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

At this moment, Obama is speaking in WI. He is saying bizarre things like he has never been President. Red state/ blue state type stuff.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Bet he was the last person to think he needed to be in WI during the closing days of the election. Just shows how epic the fail.

Happy Nomad on November 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

It’s jobs created or saved, and Bark managed to save 100 million jobs, he says so right there on his website. If you people would put away your homophobia for one minute you might notice such things.

Bishop on November 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

kingsjester on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

great post, keep bringing it up. The water is beginning to flood over the dam, i hope.

ted c on November 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

No, I’m pretty sure that the economy is also adding to his emptiness and stridency. And his failure with national security. And the fact that he’s not currently on a golf course somewhere.

RoadRunner on November 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Actually, Obama just gave a very good speech. Very inspirational. Yet, totally delusional.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Rush is giving a different review except for the delusional part.

Happy Nomad on November 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM

At this moment, Obama is speaking in WI. He is saying bizarre things like he has never been President. Red state/ blue state type stuff.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Rush is having a field day with this right now. And he’s been on air about two minutes.

tru2tx on November 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

LOL! Yeah…that’s some record, Barry.

Obama can’t defend his abysmal record over the last four years. He has no viable plan to fix any of it over the next four years. He can’t even justify what he has done over the last four years, much less defend it.

What a pathetic performance. If he’d been an executive in any other position in the world he’d have been fired for non-performance and ineptitude long ago. He’s lucky he got to serve all four years of his term.

thatsafactjack on November 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The most amazing thing I find with the 0bama campaign, is how they wave their hand in the air and expect us to forget his first term, like they were Jedi or something, “these are not the last four years you were looking for”.

But they are not Jedi.

Rebar on November 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Rush is having a field day with this right now. And he’s been on air about two minutes.

tru2tx on November 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The elements of Obama’s speech need to be dismantled quickly, because it rallied this crowd.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Actually, Obama just gave a very good speech. Very inspirational. Yet, totally delusional.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Interesting. I watched a bit on FOX while walking on the treadmill and thought it was flat. Rush just more or less said the same thing. He was flat and the crowd was flat, except for “Bin Laden is dead.”

Nothing new, and I’ll be surprised if he gets more eloquent on his current desperate marathon.

Drained Brain on November 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Obama went straight centrist… overnight.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Happy Nomad on November 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM

iPad? So his complete and utter failure over the last four years was all because of that ‘danged ipad thingy’?

LOL!

thatsafactjack on November 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I hope Obama will be looking for a new job in a few days.

Drained Brain on November 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

He’ll have a HUGE job trying to rewrite history over the next 25 years.

Finbar on November 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

The elements of Obama’s speech need to be dismantled quickly, because it rallied this crowd.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Jim Jones always rallied his kool-aid drinkers as well.

TXUS on November 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Which would be why the average job gain between January 2003, when Republicans took undisputed control of Congress, and December 2006, as the Democrats prepared to assume control of Congress, of 139,700 is higher than the average job gain of 137,300 since March 2010.

Steve Eggleston on November 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Can we leave him alone on a rooftop?

ted c on November 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Maybe Obama can run for preezy of the European Union

workingclass artist on November 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM

bayam! Come out to play…

Del Dolemonte on November 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I’d like to see that same chart put out by the Obama campaign, but extended several years to the left. Let’s see what job creation was like in the years 2000-2008. THAT will put things in perspective.

Or, add a second dataset to the chart–”growth in potential workers”–which will show how we need a lot more than Obama is offering.

Mohonri on November 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Maybe Hawaii secedes and Obama can run for King of Hawaii

workingclass artist on November 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM

SSDD from dear leader just now

cmsinaz on November 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Part of the disconnect is that the US continued to bleed jobs from the recession that started before Obama took office.

Ed, Obama “took office” in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2005.
Democrats took majority control of the House and Senate on January 3, 2007.
I think your sentence should more accurately read:

Part of the disconnect is that the US continued to bleed jobs from the recession that started before Obama took office after Democrats took majority control of Washington, D.C.

ITguy on November 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

The elements of Obama’s speech need to be dismantled quickly, because it rallied this crowd.

faraway on November 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Desperate for a little hope in the face of the coming change, Obama crowd gets fired up as he tries to rekindle the glow.

Jvette on November 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

They’re as out of arguments for another four years as they are out of ideas for what to do with them.

In my mind this is the money quote. Why does this guy want a second term? To work on his golf game? To have AF1 available anytime? What is the drive? Just not to fail to win a second term? This guy just has never had America’s best interest at heart. Look up narcissist in the dictionary and you should see a picture of the “O”.

Deano1952 on November 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

U mean the secretary of Bi-ness is not going to work…..

hillsoftx on November 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Rush just made the most essential point. This is now a turn-out election. I’ll be at my polling place at 5:55 and I bet I won’t be the first in line by a long shot.

Happy Nomad on November 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Why does this guy want a second term? To work on his golf game? To have AF1 available anytime? What is the drive? Just not to fail to win a second term?

Deano1952 on November 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Um…. would you want to be the one to have to tell Mooch the days of private planes, media attention, and “free” lobster are over? Would you really want to be that messenger?

Happy Nomad on November 1, 2012 at 12:33 PM

The comments on that George Will column are hilarious. Nothing but invective and lies about Mitt Romney, not even the O-bots that are probably being paid to post comments there are actually defending Obama’s record or his campaign. At this point it seems all they can do is try to discourage Romney supporters and get us to stay home.

rockmom on November 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

OT/ Interesting via Ace:

Ad Spending in the Final Days

Here’s a good rundown of the ad spending set for the rest of the campaign. Pro-Romney buys include Romney, RNC, American Crossroads, Restore Our Future, Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity, American Future Fund, Americans for Jobs Security, NRA, and Concerned Women. Pro-Obama buys include Obama and Priorities USA. It’s a little curious they only include one Obama PAC in this list, as I assume others and union groups are still spending. I can’t say for sure, though.

Ohio – $30M total: Romney $18.4M, Obama $11.4M

Florida – $22M total: Romney $13.7M, Obama $8.4M

Virginia – $19.7M total: Romney $13.4M, Obama $6.3M

Pennsylvania – $13.7M total: Romney $10.8M, Obama $2.9M

Wisconsin – $10.8M total: Romney $7.8M, Obama $3M

Iowa – $9.8M total: Romney $6.7M, Obama $3M

Colorado – $8.9M total: Romney $5.5M, Obama $3.3M

Nevada – $8.5M total: Romney $5.6M, Obama $2.9M

New Hampshire – $7.0M total: Romney $4.7M, Obama $2.3M

Michigan – $5.7M total: Romney $5.2M, Obama $500k

Minnesota – $2.7M total: Romney $2.1M, Obama $550k

North Carolina – $3.4M total: Romney $1.9M, Obama $1.4M

New Mexico – $225k total: Romney $225k (ROF), Obama $0

Maine (Bangor) – $70k total: Romney $70k (ROF), Obama $0

As @slublog mentioned, $70k in ads for one targeted Maine district is actually a pretty healthy buy. Also take a look at the huge Romney advantage in the Rust Belt states, particularly Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan(!).

Posted by: JohnE. at 12:17 PM

Cody1991 on November 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I’m hearing rumblings that people on Twitter are being signed up to follow MichelleObama and JoeBiden and they did not sign up for that themselves. Anyone else experience this?

UnderstandingisPower on November 1, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Tomorrow! 5.0% Unemployement!

Just watch.

Oil Can on November 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

…I want Congressional hearings about the last report!

KOOLAID2 on November 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

If it weren’t for the suffocating silence of the press on the 2008-2009 Congressional tricks, Fast and Furious (or anything to do with Holder’s just”us” department), Benghazi, any number of flyover state natural disasters, true unemployment numbers, gas prices, the general malaise of our nation… Obama would not have a chance and, in fact, might have been impeached by now.

Fallon on November 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

One other thing that Ed didn’t mention is if you cherry pick the post 9/11 Bush recovery you get better job creation numbers than Obama’s cherry picked dates. Apples to apples Bush had more.

Wigglesworth on November 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

This video was made by a conservative…And it is a killer video that has gotten over 200,000 views on youtube since it went up on Oct. 23

Titled Conservatism is calling

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsa4uLmTw0M&feature=player_embedded

workingclass artist on November 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Contrast and Compare

Jimmy Carter campaign ad (1980)
http://youtu.be/mDO_W619978

Walter Mondale – “Teach Your Parents” (Political Ad, 1984)
http://youtu.be/MwrlKI1CpQY

1988 Michael Dukakis “New Era” Ad Campaign
http://youtu.be/sNL5WtYTsw8

Michael Dukakis The Tank Ad 1988 ElectionWallDotOrg
http://youtu.be/BRPZQ3UEN_Q

“Ocean” Al Gore 2000 TV ad
http://youtu.be/BsQmS1OcXTQ

Kerry 2004 – Outsourcing
http://youtu.be/7wI0ZCPC1-4

Same Song – different election
http://youtu.be/DibVBhytik8

redguy on November 1, 2012 at 12:44 PM

One other thing that Ed didn’t mention is if you cherry pick the post 9/11 Bush recovery you get better job creation numbers than Obama’s cherry picked dates. Apples to apples Bush had more.

Wigglesworth on November 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I believe I covered that :-)

Steve Eggleston on November 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Cody1991 on November 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

ZOMG!!! The RethugliKKKans are trying to buy the election!!!

What? One billion dollars you say? Obama said that? Really?

WARGARBLE!!!

stvnscott on November 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM

23 million Americans out of work or looking for work under Obowma.
64% of Americans in the workforce, lowest participation rate in 60 years.
46 million on food stamps, 50% increase under Obowma.
Actual Unemployment U6 number at 18%.
7 Trillion dollars lost in home equity ownership.
1 billion spent in stimulus creating MORE unemployment than when Obowma took office.
Unemployment is 60% HIGHER under Obowma than under Bush.
25% black unemployment under Obowma.
16% Hispanic unemployment under Obowma.
Fast and Furious results in 3500 Americans and Mexicans dead under Obowma’s gun running program.
Benghazi fiasco results in 4 dead American’s as OBOWMA WATCHES THE LIVE VIDEO FEED.

A total leadership failure under Obowma.

dthorny on November 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Where did you get your “internal” Wisconsin numbers from?

oldroy on November 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM

From someone connected to a talk show host who got them from the campaign.

gumbyandpokey on November 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Rasmussen: Wisconsin: Romney 49, Obama 49

Heard from a little birdie that Rasmussen’s Iowa poll will show that newspaper endorsements mean nothing.

Another day, another rotten battleground state poll for poor hapless Mitt.

gumbyandpokey on November 1, 2012 at 11:15 AM

NumbersMuncher ‏@NumbersMuncher

Rasmussen has Romney up 1 in Iowa, 49-48. Was tied @ 48% last week.

Romney: 2

RuPoll: 0

Resist We Much on November 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

It’s jobs created or saved, and Bark managed to save 100 million jobs, he says so right there on his website. If you people would put away your homophobia for one minute you might notice such things.

Bishop on November 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Correction: it’s jobs created, saved or imagined.

John the Libertarian on November 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

CONSERVATISM IS CALLING

http://youtu.be/gsa4uLmTw0M

redguy on November 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Obama is empty, but you know what he has done a helluva job filling?????

…..coffins…. He’s done a great job filling coffins and turning ambassadors, SEALs in particular, as well as others into corpses and shovel ready projects.

Remember Benghazi.

ted c on November 1, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Don’t forget the 350+ Mexicans & 2 Americans killed in “fast & Furious”. This guy is either the worlds’ biggest nincompoop or the most diabolical, evil person we’ve ever put in the White House! I’ll take stupid!

Boats48 on November 1, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Where are the clowns?

Schadenfreude on November 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM

His only notable new idea in this campaign is to alter the First Amendment in order to empower government to restrict the amount of permissible political speech — speech about the composition and conduct of government. Nancy Pelosi pledges that if Democrats control the House, they will pass this constriction of the Bill of Rights on the first day.

Wait, what? How did I miss this?

thelarryd on November 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

And as Zerohedge broke down…

…3.5 Million jobs went to 55 and older

…750K went to recent college grads

and everyone in between lost 800K

And the vast, vast,vast majority of the jobs is part-time work. St. Louis Fed has the hard number.

budfox on November 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM

A total leadership human being failure under Obowma.

dthorny on November 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

FIFM

ShainS on November 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Romney: 2

RuPoll: 0

Resist We Much on November 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

dumby having a hard time accepting that hopenchange is over…I hope for his sake that Axeldouche is good for his final troll paycheck. Perhaps OFA will take out another BofA loan to cover the concern trolls although he hasn’t even paid Shillary back from 08, like he promised…LOL

Strike Hornet on November 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM

workingclass artist on November 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Thanks so much for the link! AWESOME video!! I sent it to my whole network. It’s well worth the 7:38 time investment!

HomeoftheBrave on November 1, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Barky today is stumping hard about how he is all about optimism and positivity!!!!111!!
“Forget all that negative stuff my campaign spent hundreds of millions of dallahs in ads spreading about how horrible Romney is, Republicans are, White people are, America is. I’m ALL ABOUT THAT RED-STATE/BLUE-STATE thingy I talked about in my famous 2004 speech…
I’m STILL the post-racial candidate!!! I’m all about hopenchange, and dragging bringing people together!!!!!111!!!
WE ARE THE CHANGE WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!!1111!!!
AND, MOOOOOCH? SHE IS HOPING TO ONCE AGAIN BE PROUD OF HER COUNTRY!!!!!

barf…sorry barky…except for the few Obama-Zombies there are left on their parents coaches and the Union Goons, it’s too little too late…
YOU AND BITEME ARE OUTTA HERE…
:) :) :) :)

Strike Hornet on November 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

It’s jobs created or saved, and Bark managed to save 100 million jobs, he says so right there on his website. If you people racists would put away your homophobia for one minute you might notice such things.

Bishop on November 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Fixed it. /

HiJack on November 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Obama is a very petty little man.

Cindy Munford on November 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Barky today is stumping hard about how he is all about optimism and positivity!!!!111!!
“Forget all that negative stuff my campaign spent hundreds of millions of dallahs in ads spreading about how horrible Romney is, Republicans are, White people are, America is. I’m ALL ABOUT THAT RED-STATE/BLUE-STATE thingy I talked about in my famous 2004 speech…
I’m STILL the post-racial candidate!!! I’m all about hopenchange, and dragging bringing people together!!!!!111!!!
WE ARE THE CHANGE WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!!1111!!!…
AND, MOOOOOCH? SHE IS HOPING TO ONCE AGAIN BE PROUD OF HER COUNTRY!!!!!

barf…sorry barky…except for the few Obama-Zombies there are left on their parents coaches couches (DAMN YOU iPad autocorrect!!!) and the Union Goons, it’s too little too late…
YOU AND BITEME ARE OUTTA HERE…
:) :) :) :)

Strike Hornet on November 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Love my iPad/iPhone, but that damn autocorrect drives me CRAZY!!!

Strike Hornet on November 1, 2012 at 3:13 PM

someone who has favorably compared his achievements to those of “any president” since Lincoln, with the “possible” exceptions of Lincoln, LBJ and FDR.

Well, he does match the FDR economic record….

tom on November 1, 2012 at 3:52 PM