Friday, economists expect the Labor Department will report the economy added 168,000 jobs in November, enough to hold unemployment steady at 9.6 percent and far less than should be expected 17 months into an economic recovery.
To win re-election President Obama must improve on those numbers.
Governing with the new Republican majority in the House offers him the opportunity to adjust policies, as necessary, and present himself to voters as a flexible and capable leader.
Americans are pragmatists—neither anti-government conservatives nor liberal spendthrifts. Voters want the private sector to create jobs, pay respectable wages and offer a decent future for their children. They will support whichever political party can deliver those.
Central to the President’s agenda has been the $800 billion in temporary stimulus spending and tax cuts—“priming the pump” to boost private hiring and instigate self-sustaining growth. Also, the President pushed through financial reforms and pumped billions into the nation’s largest financial institutions and the auto industry.