Greg Sargent: “Maybe it’s time for that pivot to jobs?”

In light of the latest polling, which John wrote about below, Greg Sargent at the Plum Line has a suggestion — and I couldn’t agree more. Actually, the pivot to jobs should have happened a long time ago. But, the President needs to let the American people know he’s on their side:

Maybe it’s time for that pivot to jobs? The finding in today’s big Post poll that doesn’t matter at all: That Mitt Romney is roughly tied with Obama. It’s far too early for such head-to-head matchups to have any meaning, particularly since we don’t even know who the GOP nominee will be and the eventual nominee may find his or her standing and/or image dramatically impacted by a long and difficult GOP primary.

The findings that do matter, a lot: About six in ten disapprove of Obama on the economy and the deficit, with nearly half strongly disapproving of his performance in those areas. Forty five percent trust Congressional Republicans more than the president on the economy, up 11 points since March, versus 42 percent who trust the President.

Key takeaway: All the nonstop talk about the deficit is doing nothing to buoy Obama on the issue that matters most to voters. Indeed, the fact that all the chatter about the deficit isn’t allaying people’s anxiety about the deficit either may support the view — argued convincingly in many places — that deficit worries mainly reflect anxiety about the economy. Did somebody say we were trapped in a “Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop”?

One assumes that the Obama reelection team expects him to get a lift if and when the President is seen presiding over a deficit deal with Republicans. This will neutralize Dem overspending as a political issue, the thinking goes, at which point Obama can turn to jobs. But it’s not clear what Dems can do in policy terms on that front, since they seem to have concluded — perhaps rightly — that more spending to jump-start the economy is too tough a sell with the public.

I’m worried that the “turn to jobs might come too late.” Republicans aren’t worried about the economy. They destroyed it in 2007-8, yet reclaimed the House in 2010. They’re willing to let Americans suffer if it means regaining the White House. Plus, their Wall Street benefactors are doing quite well these days.

Obama and his team have played into the hands of the GOP and are caught in what Greg calls the “Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop.” It’s a great place for the GOPers to be, but not for Obama.

Notice how the Republicans are so willing to blame Obama for the current state of the economy — even though they caused the Great Recession. Yet, Obama never held Bush and the GOPers accountable for creating the mess. Apparently, that was too political and unseemly.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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