After proving that he was eligible for office (hooray!) and overseeing the death of Osama bin Laden (sincere hooray!), President Obama’s poll numbers have been steadily climbing out of the gutter. Last week, his approval ratings hit a sixteen-month high, according to Gallup. And yet everyone knows that, ultimately, voters won’t really be thinking about bin Laden or birth certificates when they vote for president in November of 2012. Selfishly, they will be mostly concerned about whether they have a job. That would be fine for Obama if the recovery was proceeding apace … but it’s not.
Those reports caused the stock market to take its biggest plunge since August yesterday. There’s a growing sense of pessimism about the strength of the recovery, and if the voters don’t notice by themselves, Obama’s opponents will be more than willing to remind them. In fact, when Mitt Romney officially announces that he’s running for president today, he’ll make Obama’s failed economic stewardship the centerpiece of his speech. An excerpt:
Burn. There’s still plenty of time for the economic recovery to right itself. Today’s gloom has a way of quickly giving way to tomorrow’s optimism. But for the moment, it’s gloom.