Like Tapper says, there’s an awful lot of stammering at the beginning here. Plus this:
Flanked by members of his economic team – including outgoing Council of Economic Advisers Dr. Christina Romer, whose replacement has yet to be named – President Obama chose to look at the silver lining in the economic clouds of today’s jobs report – not even mentioning that August saw a net job loss of 54,000 jobs.
“In the month I took office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month,” the president said. “This morning, new figures show the economy produced 67,000 private sector jobs in August, the eighth consecutive month of private job growth. Additionally, the numbers for July were revised upward to 107,000. Now that’s positive news, and it reflects the steps we’ve already taken to break the back of this recession.”
The net job loss for August is largely because of the layoffs of 114,000 Census temporary workers.
If you’re wondering why he decided to hold this little mini-presser today when he has a full press conference scheduled for next week, it’s because Democrats are simply at their wit’s end waiting for him to talk about new recovery measures. Said one strategist to WaPo, “We did the mosque, Katrina, Iraq, and now Middle East peace? And in between you redo the Oval Office? It has become a joke.” More from David Corn:
Democrats are spooked by recent polls and predictions indicating the GOP may slam the Dems so badly that the D’s lose the House and possibly the Senate. The Republicans need to gain 39 seats to seize the House, and it’s not difficult these days to find nonpartisan handicappers who predict the R’s could gain 40 to 50 seats. The conventional wisdom in D.C.: A tsunami is heading toward the Democrats. A Democratic strategist toiling on the party’s House efforts refers to working on the “Titanic” (though he claims there may be some hidden life rafts). “The president keeps saying it’s a tough environment,” says a Democratic House staffer. “We know that. We want to know what he’s going to do about it.”…
“He still wants to be seen as post-partisan and bipartisan,” says a House Democratic leadership aide. “But we’re in a fight here.” Democrats expect Obama to come out swinging nonstop — bashing the R’s repeatedly and proposing economic initiatives that actually register with voters. At the same time, members of the House Democratic leadership are worried that Obama will cave and yield to GOP demands that George W. Bush’s expiring tax cuts for the wealthy be extended. “If he doesn’t do something immediately, our members will be livid,” says a House Democratic aide. “And when there’s fear of a bloodbath, it’s never too early to start the blame game.”
It’s never too early for the media to start spinning either. Your takeaway headline from Time magazine, no joke: “What’s Good About Rising Unemployment.”