President Obama greets a child on the Kingsmill Resort grounds during a break from debate prep in Williamsburg, Va., Oct. 14 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: Just last night, Ezra explained on the show that the new monthly job figures would be released this morning, and a lot of folks would be shocked by how bad the numbers would be. Why? Because of Hurricane Sandy. Most expected to see only 80,000 jobs created.
This morning, everyone’s shocked for a very different reason. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, nearly double the projections. What’s more, the overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.7%, its lowest point in four years.
AP: A month after the bitterly fought election, President Barack Obama has his highest approval ratings since the killing of Osama bin Laden, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll, and more Americans say the nation is heading in the right direction now than at any time since the start of his first term.
Obama’s approval rating stands at 57 percent, the highest since May 2011, when U.S. Navy SEALs killed the terror leader, and up 5 percentage points from before the election. And 42 percent say the country is on the right track, up from 35 percent in January 2009. A majority think it’s likely that the president will be able to improve the economy in his second term…..
Charles Pierce: ….. Morning Joe Scarborough has a piece about how the president’s abilities at artificial pleasantries, manufactured politesse, and general intramural Potomac ass-kissing leave something to be desired….
…. In what universe is this president “personally isolated”? This one drives me straight up the wall. He just won his second national election, this one against longer odds even than the first one. He is immensely popular in the country at large, which is supposed to be the only place where popularity is supposed to matter. The country doesn’t seem to find him aloof….
…. And, in case it’s escaped the squint, the only people capable of making the next four years different from the last four years are the people who spent the previous four years refusing to accept the results of the 2008 election. Let John Boehner get all the bats in the House belfry flying in formation. That’s his job. The president’s is to lead the country for the rest of us…..
Washington Post: President Obama’s second inauguration will feature two swearings-in and the traditional parade and official balls. All the pomp will follow a national day of service to honor the country’s shared values and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the newly launched Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Thursday.
Eva Longoria, who was a big fundraiser and prominent surrogate for Obama’s campaign, will serve as a committee co-chair, all four living former presidents will serve as honorary co-chairs, and several top campaign officials will organize the weekend’s festivities.