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Obama’s Political, Economic Advisers Say Jobless Rate Won’t Matter in 2012

I’ve always thought the pent up anger at George Bush and the frustration from the Bush years would have allowed Daisy Duck or the Chipmunks to win the Presidency in 2008. So the trick was to elect someone who understood that anger and was prepared to reverse all the reasons it existed. Sure, the Obama message people understood this, but so did my cat.

Now the people who helped Obama defraud voters by channeling everyone’s hope for change have convinced themselves he won the election because they’re political geniuses.

The lastest example of this delusion is Obama’s senior campaign adviser, David Plouffe, who confidently told Bloomberg that going into the 2012 elections with over 8 percent unemployment and no meaningful jobs programs will not hurt Obama’s chances for reelection:

“The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,” Plouffe said. “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’”

Yes, that’s coming from the White House that just leaked to the Beltway media that Mr. Obama wants a grand bargain with the most clownish political party in America’s memory in which benefits are significantly cut for poor people, sick people, old people, impoverished women and children in exchange for adjusting taxes on hedge funds and the depreciation rates on corporate jets. But Mr. Plouffe’s tone deafness doesn’t end there. More from Bloomberg on Plouffe:

Since World War II, no U.S. president has won re-election with a jobless rate above 6 percent, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, who faced 7.2 percent unemployment on Election Day in 1984. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg puts the unemployment rate at 8.2 percent in the third quarter of next year.

“Their decision next year will be based upon two things,” Plouffe said. “How do I feel about things right now and then, ultimately, campaigns are always much more about the future and who do I think has got the best idea, the best vision for where to take the country?”

Oh, so the Obama White House that makes a habit of betraying his supporters and selling out on war, taxes for the rich, Social Security/Medicare, torture acountability, reining in banksters, helping the jobless, etc, is going to sell us on his vision for American kleptocracy?

With polls telling us that the vast majority of the country disapproves of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy and even larger majorities fear the country is on the wrong track, Mr. Pflouffe believes he can lie about his guy’s vision better than Mitt Romney can lie about his. May the gods help us all.

So much for Mr. Obama’s political team. What are we hearing from the President’s economic advisers that will convince Americans we’re headed in the right direction?

Here, let us recall that esteemed professors of my alma mater assured us the President’s econ men believed the right things and were basically trying to do the right things. Why, even Larry Summers — Mr. “We only need an insurance policy” — recently insisted that he always believed, but perhaps forgot to emphasize at the time, that there’s little risk of having too large a stimulus. But alas, the wise economists were just overridden by the political goons and presumably Obama himself.

Yet Gene Sperling, the White House’s current senior economic adviser, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes last night that he not only believes in the confidence fairy — that’s in an earlier segment and goes along with Obama’s faith in the expansionary austerity unicorn. He also indulges Obama’s view you can simultaneously acheve good spending/investments to sustain demand while you’re giving in to the Zombies who insist we have to cut everything government does (except war) because we’re broke. Sperling’s total interview ran about 8 minutes, but there’s nothing to indicate he acknowledges the economic contradictions and incoherence in what Obama is proposing in his grand bargain with John Boehner and the Tea-GOP.

And note Sperling’s admission that the only potentially meaninful jobs effort, an infrastructure investment bank, will likely not be in the “grand bargain.” Why is that? Apparently the bargain is just for hurting the economy; anything that might help the unemployed and rebuild the country — you know, that vision thing — is not important enough to bargain for.

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley