Did somebody say political disconnect?
When Barack Obama became president of the United States, the national unemployment rate was 7.3%. Today, it is 9.1%, almost 14 million American workers idle. Millions more if you count those who've surrendered to no paycheck.
This despite the spending of $787 billion in stimulus money that was promised to keep unemployment below 8% and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs each month by last year. In May the private sector created 54,000 new jobs.
The Federal Reserve estimates unemployment by the fall of 2012 will be somewhere between 7.8% and 8.2%. No incumbent president in 75 years has been reelected with unemployment above 7.2%.
On his second day in office when Barack Obama signed that executive order to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility within one year, his job approval was 69%.
Yesterday, according to Gallup, Obama's job approval was 43%.That's down 25 points among whites, down 24 among seniors, down 23 among independents, down 22 among men, down 21 among women.
Fifty percent of Americans disapprove of his job.
The latest Bloomberg National Poll finds 2 out of 3 Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Only 23% see signs of economic recovery.
Only 10% expect employment to improve within two years. A plurality favor repealing Obama's trademark healthcare legislation, and Gallup found Americans' economic confidence plunging again this month.
Gallup's latest generic 2012 presidential ballot reveals Obama losing to some Republican 39%-44%.
With his wife, daughters, mother-in-law, niece and nephew on safari in Africa, the president was baching it on the road for a four-speech Thursday. The campaign's first quarter of fundraising totals are due to the Federal Election Commission in early July. His Chicago organization plans to raise $1 billion before Nov. 6, 2012.
So with budget talks with congressional Republicans near collapse and VP Joe Biden off duty at home Friday, Obama was back in New York City on Thursday to do another three Democratic fundraisers. He opened at a quiet restaurant soiree with Wall Street bankers, private equity investors and hedge fund managers, who paid $35,800 per plate to dine with the man who's publicly bashed them so often.
The evening's last Obama event in Manhattan was at the Broadway Theatre, hosted by TV yapper Whoopi Goldberg. The Real Good Talker from the White House promised the 1,400 enthusiastic audience members he wouldn't give a long speech. But during his 21-minute oration he did utter one amazing boast:
The track record of the last 21/2 years is one that I could not be prouder of.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photos: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press (Top, Obama boards Air Force One in New York. Bottom, he embraces Whoopi Goldberg at one of three Democratic fundraisers he attended Thursday night in New York City).