David Plouffe: 'People Won't Vote Based on the Unemployment Rate'

You’ve got to give style points to Team Obama. If there were Olympic events for chutzpah and arrogance, these folks would be getting perfect 10s every time. Considering millions of Americans have lost their jobs since Barack Obama became president, it takes a serious set of onions to come out and claim voters won’t be focused on unemployment come November 2012.

Plouffe, who ran Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, previewed the arguments the president and his team will sound 16 months before an election that could be a referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy. While history has shown the unemployment rate to be a leading indicator of an incumbent’s success, Plouffe said Americans won’t base their votes on it.

“The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,” Plouffe said. “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’”

Considering that outside of Ronald Reagan in 1984, no president has ever been re-elected with an unemployment rate over 6%. And, well, Obama sure as heck is no Reagan. With unemployment currently at 9.1% and with little hope of it falling precipitously in sight, the Obama campaign apparently will be running a “feelings” based campaign. That and they plan to scare the daylights out of people.

“So all of them are basically just bringing out the same old war horses,” senior adviser David Plouffe said yesterday at a Bloomberg Breakfast in Washington. “Let Wall Street kind of run amok, cut taxes for the wealthy, starve investment in things like education, research and development.”

Gee, somehow he left killing Grandma off the litany of doom and gloom.

So instead of focusing on issues like long-term unemployment, crushing debt, out-of-control spending, a weak dollar, record numbers on food stamps, a skyrocketing misery index and an overwhelming majority who feel we’re on the wrong track, let’s talk about feelings.

Well, right now Americans are feeling very concerned for their future and there isn’t any good economic news to feel good about.