When the latest jobless report came out on Friday, Barack Obama decided he had to talk about it right away — especially since he’s been on vacation for the previous several weeks and hadn’t addressed the faltering economy for most of the summer. Jake Tapper noticed that Obama avoided talking about the actual jobless figure, however:
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.
Well, it’s easy to see silver linings when one ignores the clouds and the storm altogether. Tapper also notices that the standards shifted from earlier in the year, when Obama had no trouble taking credit for Census Bureau jobs when they added to employment:
When May’s job numbers showed a net increase of 431,000 jobs – 411,000 of which were Census jobs — the president did note that “most of these jobs this month that we’re seeing in the statistics represent workers who’ve been hired to complete the 2010 census.” But in those June 4 remarks the president didn’t detail just how many of the 431,000 jobs were Census jobs – 95% of them — and he cited the overall report, and its deceptively large number as evidence that businesses are “starting to hire again. Workers who were laid off, they’re starting to get their jobs back. Companies that were almost forced to close their doors are making plans to expand and invest in new equipment.”
Today the president refrained from mentioning the net job loss of 54,000 jobs, or ever that August brought a net job loss. He said that the 67,000 private sector jobs created were “not nearly good enough” and said he would “in the weeks ahead” be detailing “further steps to create jobs and keep the economy growing, including extending tax cuts for the middle class and investing in the areas of our economy where the potential for job growth is greatest.”
So basically Obama talked about the unemployment figure without ever talking about unemployment. It’s a neat trick, but at least Jake Tapper was paying attention.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!