In a speech in Boston, First Lady Michelle Obama left behind talk of exercise and school lunches, exchanging it all for bald politics by claiming that under her husband the US economy is now better off “by almost every economic measure.”
The First Lady appeared at the Strand Theater Friday to stump for Martha Coakley’s campaign for Governor of Massachusetts. Coakley needs help badly, as even in blue, blue Massachusetts, the race between Democrat Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker is essentially a toss up.
In her remarks, Obama pushed the President’s newest campaign line that he has saved the economy based on reports that unemployment is at an all-time low since he took office–as well as his purported “longest streak” of jobs created.
“We were in full-blown crisis mode,” Obama told her appreciative audience. “Our economy was literally on the brink of collapse: Wall Street banks were folding; businesses were losing 800,000 jobs a month–800,000 jobs a month; folks on TV–all the pundits were panicking about whether we were headed for another Great Depression. And that wasn’t just talk, that was actually a real possibility.”
“This is just some of what Barack walked into on day one as President of the United States,” Obama continued. “So let’s just get that out of our mind, because that’s my man. Yes, indeed. And it just happens to be our 22nd anniversary today. And this is how important these elections are to us because I might not even see him today.”
The First Lady then went for the talking point: “I’m on the road and he is on the road, because these elections are so important. And it’s important for everyone in this country, all over this country, to understand where we’ve come from because now, less than six years later, with my husband in office, by almost every economic measure, we are better off today than when Barack took office.”
The latter has been the talking point deployed by a full court press campaign as the week ended.
But not everyone agrees that President Obama has saved the economy. Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs openly scoffed that Obama has saved anything. On his October 2 show, Dobbs ticked off a series of statistics that shows a downturn for America, not an uptick.
The labor participation rate back then was nearly 66 percent. It’s now 63 percent. The home ownership rate back then: 67 and a half percent. Today under 65 percent. The number of Americans on food stamps, then: 32 million. Now: 46 million, and the President wants to talk economy? Because he doesn’t have a clear strategy to destroy the Islamic State and fend off the pesky Republicans at the polls?
Fox News’ Ed Henry also noted that polls are showing that Obama is not getting a whole lot of credit from voters, either.
And on the economy, the President is not getting a ringing endorsement either in the latest Fox poll. Asked if they are better off today than in 2008, 24 percent say better. 28 percent say worse. 47 percent say the same. As for the President’s signature healthcare law: 54 percent say they wish it never passed. 37 percent are glad it passed, though, today, at Northwestern, the President took a shot at Fox News as he noted the law is here to stay.
Obama’s drive on the economy, though, is clearly meant to help Democrats in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections that are only a month away.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com