Jobs and the economy may be the highest polling concern of American voters, but that doesn’t mean people want to be reminded about how much the economy and trying to find a job sucks every day.
Perhaps the best strategy for the President in this atmosphere isn’t to try to outflank the GOP on economic issues, but to change the focus to other things. A week about education reforms while letting the GOP whine about how he should be focussing on the economy. A week about environmental reform or foreign policy initiatives (of the non-aggression variety) while the GOP again whines about the economy.
People follow sports and play video games to avoid the pains of everyday life. If there really is nothing that will heal the economy other than time (and the magic confidence fairy), I say it’s better to pivot unapologetically to other issues.
It’ll be panned as ignoring the economy. For like a few days. After that, people will welcome the pandering about less stressful things and maybe even see the White House as being able to multi task and focus on a broad array of issues.
But for it to work it would really have to be unapologetic. No “The President is deeply concerned about the economy and is being briefed on it daily and working on new initiatives.” Just “Today is education week. An educated and tech savvy citizenry is essential for the future of this country.” yada yada. Out of sight, out of mind.
Just an idea. Worst case: it is better to appear forward thinking and (slightly) aloof than to be constantly associated with sad and depressing rhetoric, no matter how “right” that rhetoric is.