Republicans and pundits who cannot figure out why President Obama is winning this campaign really ought to watch this new Obama campaign ad, released on Saturday:
But as this ad demonstrates, that analysis is flawed: America is better off today than it was four years ago. That's not the same thing as saying that America is as strong as we want it to be. "We're not there yet," the ad says—we still haven't fully recovered. But, as President Obama says in the ad's final clip, "We're not going back, we are moving forward."
Ultimately, this election is a choice—all elections are choices. And when it comes to the economy, the choice that Mitt Romney represents would be a return to the policies that created our problems in the first place. The choice President Obama represents is the one that put us on the path to recovery from the 2008 collapse.
The economy isn't the only issue in this campaign, but to the extent that it is an issue, it's analytical malpractice to ignore the direction in which the economy is heading. Yes, you can look at the 8.1 percent unemployment rate and say "that's too high." And you'd be right. But when you consider that Bush's economic policies caused unemployment to double and that it's been dropping since President Obama's first year in office, you also have to concede that things are now getting better.
The bottom-line is that with respect to the economy, four years ago virtually every economic statistic was heading in the wrong direction. Today, they are headed in the right direction. Based on that fact alone, President Obama has a strong claim to reelection. The fact that Mitt Romney is running the campaign of a bumbling idiot is just gravy.
But, I'll admit, as far as gravy goes ... it is delicious.
He keeps saying it: "This President cannot tell us that you're better off today than when he took office." - Mitt Romney
Here's where we were in 2008: "Worst financial collapse since the great depression" ... "American workers were laid off in numbers not seen in over three decades."
And here's where we are today...30 months of private sector job growth. Creating 4.6 million new jobs.
We're not there yet. But the real question is: Whose plan is better for you?
The President's plan asks millionaires to pay a little more to help invest in a strong middle class, clean energy, and cut the deficit.
Mitt Romney's plan? A new two-hundred-fifty-thousand-dollar tax break for multi-millionaires. Roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy, and raise taxes on the middle class.
"They want to go back to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place" - Bill Clinton. "We're not going back, we are moving forward." - President Obama.