Barack Obama has given a response to the jobs report this morning while speaking at the Washington Navy Yard. I’ll bet most people have already guessed how the President sought to reassure Americans that “things will get better“:
“We are going to get through this. Things will get better. We’re going to get there together,” Obama told a crowd of veterans at the Washington Navy Yard Friday, where he was speaking about lowering unemployment among the nation’s veterans. Neither he nor any member of the administration commented after the Dow plunged over 500 points Thursday, and Obama avoided addressing the market crash directly.
“There is no doubt this has been a tumultuous year,” said Obama. “My singular focus is the American people. Getting the unemployed back on the job.”
First, it’s interesting that Obama didn’t attempt to sell the jobs report this morning as good news. Wall Street wasn’t impressed by it; after yesterday’s selloff, the Dow Jones was off another 150 points by noon today. European stocks had a 3-year drubbing this week as well.
But even Obama’s allies aren’t buying the “singular focus” line any longer. Arianna Huffington told Lawrence O’Donnell earlier this week that no one believes Obama when he claims that jobs are his highest priority, but rather think it’s one job in particular, emphasis mine:
But the point is that the most important number going into 2012 is going to be the unemployment number. And there is absolutely no prospect at the moment that would make us believe that unemployment number is going to be below nine percent. Now that is really the greatest fear for the White House. And of course Mitt Romney again and again is talking about the failure of the President to produce jobs, and he doesn’t have to tell us how he would have done it. He just has to point out to that failure. And when the President again and again talks about how, I mean, I went through and looked since 2009 how many times he has said, “Jobs priority number one,” “The sustained focus of this administration,” “The relentless focus of this administration,” “We’re pivoting to jobs.” Nobody believes it any more.
For all of this focus, Obama has yet to put forward his own plan to promote massive job growth, or any kind of private-sector growth at all. If that sounds familiar, it should; Obama failed to put forward any specific plan to deal with deficit reduction and the debt ceiling, and the only specific demand he made — tax hikes — would have stunted job growth. In fact, he’s still talking about tax hikes, which is a highly strange way to claim that job creation is one’s “singular focus.”
As long as Obama’s actual “singular” focus remains on expanding regulation and raising taxes, things won’t get better until he leaves office … hopefully in 2013.