The Debate on the American Economy - "Jolt"

This past Friday, President Obama held a press conference to talk about the American economy. While optimistic about private sector growth over the past 27 month, Obama stressed the need for further action to advance the recovery. He also cited potentially weakened European demand in the event of an European financial meltdown as further impetus for action on the economy.

Obama emphasized the need to pass the American Jobs Act, which would put millions of laid off public employees back to work. He highlighted the needs to invest in infrastructure, keep people in their homes, and cut taxes on small businesses. Congressional obstinacy, according to the president, has delayed the bill’s passage and weakened the economy. The overall message appears to be that state and local governments need help putting people back to work.

In response to one reporter’s question concerning Republican allegations that Obama is blaming Europe for his own failed policies, Obama stated that “the private sector is doing fine,” and that in fact the public sector is currently the main drag on the economy. Republicans seized on this statement immediately as evidence that the president is out of touch with the American economy. Romney’s new ad, “Jolt,” attempts to demonstrate a contrast between economic reality and the president’s statement.

As the election approaches, the economy continues to play a crucial role in both campaign’s overarching narratives. While the Obama campaign has begun to articulate tangible policies to confront economic challenges – mainly through advocacy for the president’s jobs bill – Republicans relentlessly attack Obama’s handling of the economy without articulating policy alternatives of their own.



The Debate on the American Economy

With the general election less than six months away, we are about to be inundated with ads and speeches from Democrats and Republicans trying to convince us to vote for them. As 13 million Americans continue to look for jobs and our public debt expands indefinitely, voters will be looking for a candidate who they think can provide strong economic leadership. Winning the economic debate, therefore, is crucial to winning the election.

Both sides offer very different narratives on how to get the economy back on track  In this series, which will run throughout the summer, I will document how the economic debate plays out in the political sphere. Looking mainly at campaign advertisements and stump speeches, I report on how the Obama and Romney camps frame their economic arguments and what kinds of solutions they are advancing for America’s economic woes. I welcome any feedback from readers who find interesting local ads pertaining to the economy.

To start things off, here’s a video of former president Bill Clinton stumping for President Obama in New York last night. The full transcript of the speech can be found here.

A couple of interesting points:

Clinton highlights the creation of 4.3 million private sector jobs under President Obama. This seems to refute Republican attacks on Obama’s jobs record.

Clinton equates Republican and European austerity policies, effectively establishing a link between the Republican party's economic philosophy and policies that have contributed to Europe's instability 

Be sure to check back regularly for updates on the debate over the American economy. 





NDN Influencing Debate

For years, NDN has been a leader on Hispanic issues, including comprehensive immigration reform and analysis of Latino demographic and voting trends. In the last few months, NDN has set out to make the argument that Hispanic and immigrant voters have become a critical voting bloc in the United States and will play a pivotal role this fall and in all future elections. Our arguments went public in a big way in late May as we released Hispanics Rising II, an in-depth, updated look at Hispanic demographic and voting trends and the critical role that the Hispanic community is playing in U.S. politics. Below are some of the articles relevant to our argument as well as Andres's presentation at NCLR's Conference in San Diego last week:

Latino turnout could hold key to White House - San Francisco Chronicle, by Tyche Hendricks, May 21, 2008

Obama closes in on Democratic nomination - Xinhua General News Service, by Yang Qingchuan, May 21, 2008.

Obama looks west in electoral map play - Politico, by Carrie Budoff Brown, May 27, 2008

Favorece voto latino a demócratas por tema de inmigración en EU - El Financiero, May 28, 2008

Obama woos key states with accent on Spanish - Financial Times, By Andrew Ward in Reno, Nevada, and Edward Luce in Washington, May 29, 2008

Group predicts record Hispanic turnout in next presidential election - Mashall News Messenger, by Bob Deans, May 29, 2008

Democratic Group Says Hispanic Voters Run to Democratic Party - Kansas City Infozine, by Christian A. Cheairs, May 29, 2008

Election 2008: Latino vote could be pivotal in Western states - San Jose Mercury News, By Frank Davies, May 29, 2008

El voto latino aumenta y se vuelve más demócrata - La Opinion, Pilar Marrero, May 29, 2008

Obama va por el voto hispano - CNN Espanol, May 29, 2008

Obama's E Pluribus Challenge - Rolling Stone, June 04, 2008

Obama leads in battle for Latino vote - Los Angeles Times, by Reed Johnson, June 06, 2008

Obama en busca del voto latino - La Opinion, by Pilar Marrero, June 06, 2008

Hispanics will be Obama's big challenge - Miami Herald, by Andres Oppenheimer, June 08, 2008

Spanish-language media key to victory with Latinos - Politico, by Gebe Martinez, June 10, 2008

El voto latino será crucial en 2008 - Univision, June 13, 2008

Shift on immigration could cost McCain - St. Petersburg Times, by Alex Leary and Wes Allison, June 21, 2008

The swing states of 2008 - Salon.com, by Thomas F. Schaller, June 24, 2008

Obama, McCain make strong bid for Latino votes - San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucci, June 26, 2008

McCain, Obama battle for Hispanic votes - The Hill, by Roxana Tiron, June 28, 2008

Swinging for Latinos - New Mexico Independent, by Marjorie Childress, July 1, 2008

Hispanic voters gaining strength in key states - Associated Press, by Stephen Ohlemacher, July 2, 2008

McCain revs efforts to woo Hispanic voters - The Arizona Republic, by Dan Nowicki, July 10, 2008

POLITICS: Latinos expected to play key role in presidential election - North County Times, CA, by Edward Sifuentes, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obama prepara un "llamado a las trincheras" durante un foro hispano - EFE News Service, Andres's interview with Maria Pena, July 13, 2008.

NPR: 'Bush Hispanics' Say Goodbye To GOP, by Jennifer Ludden, July 13, 2008

McCain woos Latinos, touts immigration votes - San Francisco Chronicle, by Carla Marinucci, July 15, 2008




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