If plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, give President Obama credit for jumping on the Mitt Romney bus … tour that is. Following Romney’s successful Battleground state bus tour, President Obama announced his own 2-day bus tour of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Obama will stop in the Toledo area sometime Thursday to kick off the tour before heading to Western Pennsylvania Friday.
We welcome him, and we hope he takes time to learn about how the private sector is actually doing and about the challenges facing our constituents in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Voters want an explanation: Why did he fail to live up to the many promises he made to them in his last campaign and during his time in office? As both a candidate and newly-inaugurated president, President Obama outlined a number of specific, quantifiable promises. He said he intended to be judged by these promises, and urged voters to hold him accountable.
When the President pushed his trillion dollar stimulus bill, he and his team promised it would reduce the unemployment rate to around 5.6 percent by today. Of course, in reality, we’ve endured an unemployment rate above 8 percent for 40 straight months—the worst employment numbers in 30 years and a clear policy failure. Today, the unemployment rate is 8.2 percent, 2.6 percentage points higher than promised. What would it mean if he had delivered on that promise? 8.4 million more Americans would have jobs.
This is a promise gap: a clear and demonstrable difference between what the president promised to voters and what he actually delivered. He made a promise on nearly every critical issue of the day—employment, energy, healthcare, housing, and the deficit—that our lives would be better off today if his policies were enacted. By his own standards, he has fallen far short on each and every issue. And by his own admission, such shortcomings are cause for Americans to make his presidency a “one-term proposition.”
President Obama’s campaign knows he has fallen short. They know he has disappointed the American people. You can see it in their ads and in their stump speeches. They are filled with excuses and distortions. They cast blame everywhere and take zero responsibility for the failing economy, the broken healthcare system, the terrible housing market, our lack of an energy policy, and our skyrocketing debt. Instead of “the buck stops here,” they seem to be saying, “the buck stops over there.”
The timing of the tour coincides with the release of new jobs and economic data. On Thursday, ADP releases its jobs survey followed by weekly jobless claims. Additionally, the ISM non-manufacturing report comes out later that morning. After today’s manufacturing report signaled a contraction in the economy (the worst report in three years), these economic reports gain added importance as we approach election day. Friday’s report is the grand-daddy of statistical releases with the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s monthly unemployment report. Little improvement over last month’s poor result is expected but all eyes will be on this important release.