Obama And The Democrats Have A Lot Of Work To Do This Week

The media narrative over the weekend is that Mitt Romney didn’t get any bump out of the Republican Convention. And that might be true, since conventions aren’t the end-all, be-all affairs they used to be. Between the internet, cable news, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and all the other vehicles for campaigns to get their messages across the days where you could expect the broadcast networks to broadcast all day, every day from conventions and viewers to watch 3-4 hours a night as the speeches took place are long gone.

Bump or no bump, though, the Obama campaign has problems everywhere. To wit…

The voters don’t think Obama deserves re-election. That’s the unmistakable takeaway from a poll The Hill has out today. By a 54-40 count respondents say they reject Obama’s job performance as a basis for re-election. In the same poll, 52 percent of the respondents say the country is worse off now than it was in September 2008, as opposed to 31 percent who say things are better. Pulse Opinion Research did the poll, and it has an R+2 sample (34D-36R-30I) which looks a lot like the 2010 electorate. It could have had the D+8 or D+10 sample the other polls out there have had and the numbers would still have shown a lousy re-elect number. Independents say he doesn’t deserve re-election by a 61-32 count, which is pretty stark. And overall, 50 percent of the respondents in the poll say they’re “not at all satisfied” with Obama on the economy.

The “are you better off than you were four years ago” question is a nightmare for the Democrats and the Obama campaign, and it ties them in knots as they try to answer it. We bring you the Bookerization of Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who some are touting as a potential 2016 frontrunner for the Democrat nomination…

And then, less than 24 hours later after someone chewed him a new orifice…

A day after saying, no, the country was not better off than it was four years ago, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley reversed course on Monday and said, yes, indeed it was.

“We are clearly better of as a country because we’re now creating jobs rathare than losing them,” O’Malley, a Democrat, said on CNN’s Starting Point. “But we have not recovered all that we lost in the Bush recession. That’s why we need to continue to move forward.”

He then motioned to a panel that included Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, among others. “Is there anyone on this panel that thinks we’ve recovered all we lost in the Bush recession? Clearly we’re moving forward, we’re creating jobs, unemployment is down, job creation is up. And that job creation would not happen without the president’s leadership.”

Even Obama can’t say the economy is doing well or that he’s handling it well…

And while that might not have inspired anyone, at least the president didn’t beclown himself like his deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter did…

Cutter’s statement has the odor of a Republican attack ad made to order, because it almost knocks you out with its Famous Last Words character.

Because today, we have a new report on manufacturing activity, and it’s horrible.

U.S. manufacturing shrank at its sharpest clip in more than three years in August while U.S. construction spending in July fell by the most in a year, new reports showed on Tuesday.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 49.6 in August from 49.8 in July.

The reading fell shy of the 50.0 median estimate in a Reuters poll of economists. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

Construction, which has been in an economic depression for pretty much the entire Obama administration, stinks like a dead nutria on a Mississippi beach as well…

U.S. construction spending fell in July from June by the largest amount in a year, weighed down by a big drop in spending on home improvement projects.

The Commerce Department says construction spending declined 0.9 percent in July. It followed three months of gains driven by increases in home and apartment construction. New home construction rose again in July, but spending on home renovation projects fell by 5.5 percent.

Not to mention there’s a jobs report coming on Friday which is expected to be rather bleak

Yet the odds of a big change in the employment picture are slim. Despite an uptick in hiring in July, economists predict the U.S. will continue to add jobs at a modest rate that’s disappointing by historical standards.

In August, economists surveyed by MarketWatch forecast the U.S. added 120,000 jobs, down from an initial estimate of 163,000 in the prior month.

While that’s enough to keep pace with the natural expansion of the labor force, it’s far too weak to slash the nation’s 8.3% unemployment rate. The U.S. would need to add about 250,000 jobs a month over several years to accomplish that goal and pull unemployment down to precession levels — a level, in fact, that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised in his acceptance speech.

Marketwatch’s forecasts tend to be optimistic. Look for a number less than 100,000 jobs added on Friday and a potential uptick in the unemployment rate. After all, Rasmussen is reporting that his employment index is 72.0, down to a 10-month low.

And besides, the administration’s own current statistics -before they get worse on Friday – don’t show that we’re moving in anything like the direction Cutter thinks we are. Behold the labor participation rate…

But it’s not just the economy Obama has to sweat about. As Doug Ross notes, there are other things as well…

Obama doubles field offices in “leans Dem” New Mexico

Losing the Independents

Number of Republicans in America Reaches Record High

Boston Globe: Predictive Model Yields Romney Landslide

Scaled-Back DNC Due To Fundraising Shortfalls

And there are lots of other things which don’t look good. Even before plugging in the polls that will come in this week the Real Clear Politics average is showing a bad trend.

This had better be a great Democrat convention. Romney’s “bounce” might not be all that pronounced, but Romney is the one who has the momentum and he’s had it for a while. Romney is also sitting on a financial advantage, and so far he’s largely holding his fire rather than unleash the Death Star media blitz he used to such incredible effect in the primaries.

Of course, a look at this week’s roster of speakers doesn’t give the impression that it’s going to be a great event for those independents Obama is in such trouble with…

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin
Congressman Xavier Becerra of California
Newark Mayor Cory Booker
Elaine Brye
Congressman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina
Former President Jimmy Carter (via video)
Ryan Case
Candidate for the US House of Representatives Joaquin Castro
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who will be the first Latino keynote speaker at a Democratic National Convention
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
Congresswoman Judy Chu of California
Maria Ciano
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri
Former President Bill Clinton
Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina
Former Republican Governor of Florida Charlie Crist
Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina Walter Dalton
Nate Davis
The Honorable Arne Duncan
Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado
Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois
Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Georgetown Law School Graduate Sandra Fluke
Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx
Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts
Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt
Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm
Congressman Charlie Gonzalez of Texas
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris
International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Mary Kay Henry
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland
Former Governor of North Carolina Jim Hunt
DCCC Chairman Congressman Steve Israel of New York
Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau
Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine
Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee Stephen J. Kerrigan
Congressman John Larson of Connecticut
Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California
Congressman John Lewis of Georgia
Secretary of the Democratic National Committee Alice Germond
CarMax co-founder and former CEO Austin Ligon
Stacey Lihn
President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Nancy Keenan
Caroline Kennedy
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (ret.)
Candidate for the US House of Representatives Joe Kennedy III
U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts
Women’s rights activist Lilly Ledbetter
Obama Campaign Co-Chair Eva Longoria
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
Delaware Governor Jack Markell
Boston Mayor Tom Menino
The Honorable Karen Mills
U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington
Admiral John Nathman
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, together with the women of the U.S. Senate
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will also lead a presentation of the women of the House:
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of New York
Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin
Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania
Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland
Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Joyce Beatty of Ohio
Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
Actor/Producer and Former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement Kal Penn
Governor of North Carolina Bev Perdue
California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez
Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado
Congressman David Price of North Carolina
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada
President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards
Brother of the First Lady Craig Robinson
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
The Honorable Ken Salazar
Journalist Cristina Saralegui
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal
Sister of the President Maya Soetoro-ng
Ohio firefighter Doug Stern
Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland
Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee Andrew Tobias
Congressman Chris Van Hollen
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez
Los Angeles Mayor, Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa
The Honorable Tom Vilsack
Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren
DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida
Congressman Mel Watt of North Carolina
President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace Robert Wexler

Almost no business people and awfully few hot names along the lines of a Rubio or Christie – the closest thing to that is San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and his twin brother Joaquin, who’s running for Congress.

And yes, we will note the irony, or rather lack of it, that the Democrats would feature the Castro brothers at their convention.

Romney doesn’t need a bounce. Obama is the one who needs a bounce. He’s likely to find one elusive – and not just because of that jobs report coming on Friday.

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