Back in April, Barack Obama had it made. He swatted away the birthers once and for all, made Donald Trump look an even bigger fool than normal and then, casually, bumped off Osama Bin Laden. It was a good month – and it seems to be as good as it’s going to get.
But the Bin Laden boost is now over. Unemployment remains stubbornly above 9 per cent. Growth is still anaemic. Unfortunately for Obama, no matter how many international terrorists you kill, people care about the economy and jobs far more, as the poll below attests.
A total of 60 per cent of respondents in a recent Gallup poll described jobs or the economy as their major concern. Unemployment was a larger concern than healthcare, fuel prices, education and immigration combined. Despite hoovering up so much time and resources, the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya do not appear to be a concern for US voters. They want jobs, damnit.
Obama main weakness will be the economy, unless it picks up drastically within the next six months. Mitt Romney’s first, slick campaign advert concentrated solely on jobs, picking up on Obama’s comment that there would be a few “bumps in the road” on the way to recovery.
Without a fall in unemployment, these attacks will continue and the Republican candidate (whoever that may be) will be able to land easy blows. James Carville‘s adage is truer than ever: it’s still the economy, stupid.