NYT: … Despite a school of thought in Washington that Mr. Obama’s support among blacks has weakened because of the poor economy and a sense of unmet expectations, interviews and public opinion surveys show that his standing remains remarkably strong among African-Americans.
….Some believe the president will be hard-pressed to reproduce those (2008) results, with a political narrative emerging in Washington that African-Americans have begun to sour on the president. Various black leaders – including Representative Maxine Waters of California, the television host Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, a prominent professor – have criticized Mr. Obama for what they see as not doing enough for black Americans…
Outside Washington, however, the story is markedly different. Mr. Obama’s support among African-Americans appears strikingly strong, even among many who are out of work, who might be expected to complain the loudest.
In a recent Pew Research Center poll, black voters preferred Mr. Obama 95 percent to 3 percent over Mitt Romney, “which is at least the margin he got in 2008,” said Michael Dimock, associate director for research at Pew. “There’s no erosion at all.”
Even more noteworthy, less than 10 percent of black voters in a New York Times/CBS News survey taken last month said that Mr. Obama had failed to meet their expectations as president, while nearly 3 in 10 said he had exceeded expectations…
…. Sitting in a chair at the Ultimate Choice Barber Shop in Charlotte, Brian Gainey, 28, a truck driver, initially hesitated when asked if he was going to vote again for Mr. Obama. “Yes,” he said finally, adding: “I’d almost like to see someone else win though. Maybe then they’ll see how much better Obama was than whoever will come after him.”
To Lemar Foster Jr., 48, a barber at Ultimate Choice, the Obama family epitomizes a bigger cultural change. …. “ … having the Obamas in the White House?” he asked. “Yeah, I’m very proud. And I’m definitely voting for him again.”
Full article here
Bloomberg: President Barack Obama’s “tsunami” of new government regulations looks more like a summer swell.
Obama’s White House has approved fewer regulations than his predecessor George W. Bush at this same point in their tenures, and the estimated costs of those rules haven’t reached the annual peak set in fiscal 1992 under Bush’s father, according to government data reviewed by Bloomberg News.
…. The scope of government regulation has emerged as a major issue in the 2012 presidential race and on Capitol Hill. Republican presidential candidates have accused Obama of stifling job creation by imposing rules on businesses, and House Republicans have vowed to rein in proposed regulations on everything from the environment to health care to banking.
….. Obama’s White House approved 613 federal rules during the first 33 months of his term, 4.7 percent fewer than the 643 cleared by President George W. Bush’s administration in the same time frame….
Full article here
12:00 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in Jacksonville, Florida
3:10 PM: President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic
3:30 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Tampa, Florida
5:05 PM: The President greets city and municipal leaders from across the country
6:45 PM: The President has dinner with winners of a campaign contest
7:00 PM: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at a DNC reception in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Robert Shrum: Critics berate the president for taking his inspiring new progressive message to the American people. But it’s the critics who ought to be ashamed
The president must be doing something right. He’s now getting advice (from all the wrong quarters) that he ought to stop standing up for the people, not the privileged. Of course, such arguments largely rest on pre-cast assumptions and self-serving calculations.
…. New York Times columnist David Brooks, on the other hand, sounds agonized and genuinely disappointed as he mourns Obama’s passage from compromising to fighting for progressive values….. Brooks contends that instead of fighting such battles, Obama should “champion a Grand Bargain strategy.” When he did just that this summer during the debt-ceiling fight, the Republicans wouldn’t meet the president even a quarter of the way….
…. So fight on, Mr. President. You’re renewing your voice and your vision, and America is beginning to hear you again as it did in 2008….
As long as you keep fighting, the critics will keep complaining. Every time they do, think of Harry Truman in 1948, written off, facing a “do-nothing Congress,” assailed for class warfare, but clear in purpose and in principle. And think of what he promised as he came to the podium of a weary and worried Democratic convention: We “will win this election and make these Republicans like it — don’t you forget that…The reason is the Democratic Party is the people’s party, and the Republican Party is the party of special interest, and it always has been and always will be.”….
Full article here
Steve Benen: By most measures, the third quarter – July through September – wasn’t pretty. The Eurozone crisis intensified; the debt-ceiling scandal rattled investors; and Republican intransigence generated a downgrade in U.S. debt. Talk of a “double-dip” recession was ubiquitous.
But as it turns out, the U.S. economy muddled through anyway. The Commerce Department released its report this morning showing that the nation’s gross domestic product rose at 2.5% annual rate in the third quarter. It’s the strongest economic growth in a year, and a marked improvement over the anemic growth we saw in the first two quarters (January through June).
Indeed, economic growth in the third quarter was nearly double the rate seen in the previous quarter.
That said, it’s important to note that 2.5% GDP growth is hardly great news. It’s a clear improvement relative to the first half of 2011, but as Neil Irwin put it, we’re still dealing with “the diminished economic expectations of the post-crisis age.”….
I mention this in part because, while faster economic growth is encouraging, policymakers and pundits would be making a tragic mistake if they saw today’s numbers as an excuse for inaction….
Full post here