So if you haven't heard the latest jobs data, we have reason for a little optimism: the WSJ reports this morning that the jobless rate has fallen to 8.5 percent.
For Mitt Romney though that news might not be so good.
This was not just a rate decrease caused by people dropping out of the labor pool, but an actual healthy increase in non-farm payrolls. Combined with growth in durable goods sales and some other indicators of industrial ramp-up from the last couple of months, this is nominally good news.
And aside from the fact that it augurs well for those of us who would like to continue to have a place to live and food to eat this year, there are of course political implications.
The President and his surrogates have (so far) decided to let this news do the talking for them. A fairly wise move, I believe.
But Mittens... well he now has a bit or a problem on his hands, as we are learning today:
Romney makes two different, but implicitly entwined claims: That while working in corporate management he created over 100,000 jobs and that — by comparison — Obama his(sic) presided over millions of job losses.
Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent, and Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen have been Romney’s (and the press’) most consistent critics on this issue. After bringing it to light, Post fact checker Glenn Kessler buttonholed a Romney spokesman about the first claim — and found it to be unsubstantiated. It’s true only if you don’t count Romney-managed companies that later hemorrhaged jobs."
And as usual, Mighty Krugthulu makes the point for Obama's unemployment situation even better.
Now it should come as no surprise to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention that Mittens is a mendacious tool, but it creates an interesting situation for the man seemingly frozen at about 25 percent in the polls in what has become a contentious and close race for the GOP nomination.
You see, as Brian Beutler over at Comrade Joshua's Salt Mine O' Truth points out, Mittens may have to abandon trying to create the cognitive frame of "Romney=Jobs, Obama=Unemployment." This would be a terrible shame for him, because it's been his non-stop pimping of this frame that has helped him maintain the less-than impressive mid-20s polling figures, rather than sliding into an utter also-ran free-fall.
My question is this: what happens when those voters who are going to "hold their nose and pull the lever for Romney" now start to think that maybe he can't beat an Obama Presidency in a resurgent economy when his own jobs record is shown to be nothing more than a cheap bottle of traveling carnival snake oil.
What about the undecideds in the in these early primary states... In New Hampshire, now only a few days away, the undecideds are still polling between 10 and 20 percent.
Did I mention that St. Frothy of Hippo has raised more than $2 million in the last 48 hours? Pretty good, given that he only spent 73 cents per vote, compared to Romney's $49 per vote in Iowa. I wonder how much longer those "undecideds" are going to remain undecided?
Think about it... you're a movement conservative but the idea of another four years wearing chains under the cruel yoke of the Seekrit Mooselim Socialist Kenyan is just more than you can bear. You wanted Perry or Bachamnn, but Liberal Media saw to that, didn't they...
So you think pragmatically, and decide that you have to vote for Mittens because at least he's a whiter shade of pale, even if he was Kommissar of Taxachussettstan and invented ObamaDeathCare, because at least he comes from the private sector with a record of creating American jobs.
Yeah... I wanna be there when that bubble bursts and suddenly it looks like Mittens is going to have his ass handed to him by Obama, regardless of your pragmatic gesture at the polls.
I suspect what will happen is that the fence sitters and conservatives looking for the "Guy-Who-Can-Beat-Obama," will revert to form and decide that they will go with their gut instead of their head in the voting booth and that could be a major lift for St. Frothy.