November 4, 2006


G.O.P. Turns to the Economy as Campaign Issue (DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and ANNE E. KORNBLUT, 11/04/06, NY Times)

Republicans seized on a drop in the unemployment rate to assert on Friday that tax cuts were invigorating the economy, highlighting just four days before the election an issue that party strategists are counting on to offset bad news about the war.

The Labor Department announced Friday morning that the unemployment rate had fallen to 4.4 percent in October — down from 4.6 percent in September and the lowest rate since May 2001, when it was 4.3 percent.

Within hours, President Bush mocked Democrats for predicting that the administration’s tax and spending policies would wreck the economy.

“If the Democrats’ election predictions are as good as their economic predictions, we’re going to have a good day on November the seventh,” Mr. Bush said, drawing a long cheer from a crowd in Joplin, Mo., where he was campaigning for Senator Jim Talent, who is in a close race.

“The facts are in,” Mr. Bush said at another campaign stop on Friday. “The tax cuts have led to a strong and growing economy, and this morning, we got more proof of that.”

This White House has never figured out how to advertise its excellent economic record and that seems to be hurting for the first time that matters in this mid-term. The president's own low approval ratings don't mean much but the fact that voters aren't crediting him and the congressional GOP for creating the confditions that have extended the economic boom is what's acting as a drag in the election.

Bush mocks Democrats' 'lack of plan' (Joseph Curl, 11/04/06, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

President Bush yesterday said Republicans nationwide are running on a strong record of accomplishment as he ridiculed Democrats seeking to take control of the House and Senate, asking: "What's your plan?" [...]

The president has honed his campaign rally speech into a laundry list of Republican successes and dire warnings about a Democratic majority, but yesterday he added a new twist when he painted Democrats as dangerously unfit to battle terrorism and win the war in Iraq.

"Oh, some of the leading Democrats in Washington argue we should pull out right now. Then you got other voices saying we should withdraw on a specific date, even though the job hasn't been completed. You actually had a member of the House recommend moving troops to an island 5,000 miles away as part of their plan. Nineteen House Democrats introduced legislation that would cut off funds for our troops in Iraq," he said.

"The Democrats have taken a calculated gamble. They believe that the only way they can win this election is to criticize us and offer no specific plan of their own," the president said.

Peter Welch (D, VT) is running for Bernie Sanders's open seat with an ad campaign saying he's the only one in the race with a plan for Iraq. All the ads lack is the plan.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2006 8:33 AM

Unemployment is almost back to where it was when Bush took over. Hopefully that'll be one area where it won't be too tough to reverse the Bush Effect.

Posted by: jpe at November 4, 2006 1:38 PM

Heck, just gin up another bubble and we can get it down a full point.

Posted by: oj at November 4, 2006 2:28 PM

Unemployment is negative. We must look the other way as illegal aliens are desperately needed to fill all the jobs.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 4, 2006 3:09 PM

The illegals are a function of the fact that no one doesn't have a job who's willing to take one.

Posted by: oj at November 4, 2006 4:35 PM