New poll finds Americans not buying Obama's light-at-the-end-of-the-recession talk (Updated)
In recent days both Democrat Vice President Joe Biden and the other fellow have begun to make the argument in public that from the point of view of the secure White House, they can somehow see the current dumpster economy smelling better, light at the end of the tunnel, the dawn of a new economic era just over the horizon.
This is based largely on scattered economic stats indicating that things are not so much really getting better; they're just not getting bad as much as before. Back in those awful winter days when new blood and Aretha Franklin's hat arrived with such promise and the new team inherited a terrible situation from you-know-who and his evil partner, you-know-him.
Also Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, who also still has a fulltime job and newly-renewed contract, sees the recession as virtually over.
(UPDATE: Friday, 1 p.m. Newly-released figures indicate California's August unemployment rate jumped to 12.2%, the highest in modern record-keeping.)
But a new poll indicates it's gonna take a whole lot more than repeated rhetoric to....
...convince skeptical Americans not feeling the $787 billion economic stimulus. The new CNN / Opinion Research Poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans see the country as good and stuck in a recession and have no doubts about it.
Fully 86% of the 1,012 adults surveyed said the country remained mired in a recession; 13% disagreed. Seventy-seven percent call it a severe or moderate recession; only 10% light. More than half said their economic position had not improved in the past year and nearly 40% said it was worse.
There's plenty of time, of course, before the midterm elections of November 2010, when historically the party controlling the White House suffers congressional losses. But since we're in perpetual campaign mode Barack Obama is already at work with his communications strategy.
When a series of town hall meetings didn't help that much last spring, Obama escalated to primetime news conferences. But they didn't make news and some networks flaked off from coverage as ratings fell. So last week he escalated to a presidential address to a joint session of Congress, as President Bush did, for instance, after 9/11.
There's been no apparent poll bounce from that. So the president will launch a media blitz this weekend. He's going to do all the major Sunday political talk shows. Well, not Fox News. Couldn't fit that one into the presidential schedule.
(So Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace will counter with a faceoff debate between Bertha Lewis, the CEO of embattled ACORN, and California's Rep. Darrel Issa, a Republican on some House government committee.)
But otherwise Sunday morning it'll be virtually wall-to-wall Obama. As usual every Saturday noon, The Ticket will have the complete show lineups posted right here.
Also, since John McCain cancelled again, Obama's going to fill-in on the Letterman show Monday night to do some pet tricks with Bo. (Just kidding about the dog and McCain.)
Not to be outdone, Bill Clinton guests on the Letterman program the next night. (But his dog's dead. Cat too.)
In other show business news, Linda McMahon has announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination to run against scandal- and poll-plagued Democratic incumbent Chris Dodd next year for a Connecticut Senate seat.
Name sound familiar? Does adding Vince help any?
The 60-year-old Linda McMahon is -- wait for it -- CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, the WWE that's such a bonanza to the arena folding chair industry. More importantly, she's very rich. And, understandably, a deficit hawk.
Connecticut needs McMahon, Lanny "The Genius" Poffo told the Daily Beast. "She is the opposite of Nancy Pelosi."
In unrelated news, police in Martinsburg, West Virginia have arrested a non-politician for burglary after he allegedly stole valuable jewelry during a break-in of an unoccupied home. The nervy burglar also took time to check his Facebook page on the victim's computer.
Trouble is, he neglected to log-off before fleeing.
-- Andrew Malcolm