Probably the best proof that high unemployment is a serious problem for the Obama re-election campaign is that the campaign can’t come up with a coherent answer for why it won’t be a serious problem. From The Hill:
“The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,” David Plouffe said according to Bloomberg on Wednesday. “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?'”
This is pure semantic nonsense. We don’t pay attention to statistics like unemployment rates and monthly jobs because we love tracking numbers for the sake of numbers. We pay attention to these statistics because they give use important information about the qualify of life for millions of real Americans.
Yes, people probably won’t think “the Department of Labor says unemployment is over 9 percent so for that reason I will not vote for Obama.” But if you are one of the millions of Americans we know are unemployed because of the statistical data, you are probably thinking, “my own situation is terrible, I need something to change.”
The Obama campaign doesn’t technically need to worried about the official numbers themselves, but what they should be extremely worried about the millions of Americans we know are experiencing terrible hardship because of the statistical data.