Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Blue Shoots? 2

A second thought on the possibility that the coming GOP wave might have peaked already, or at any rate that Democrats might find some reason for less severe pessimism...

As far as the spin battle is concerned, I think that this week's unemployment numbers are more important than most.  A healthy reading will likely lead to Democrats feeling confident enough about the recovery to start saying positive things; up to this point, they haven't been doing that, presumably because of the (very reasonable) fear of a "Mission Accomplished" moment.  Two solid positive jobs months, on top of GDP growth and other positive economic signs, might be enough for them to get over their fears.  And while I don't think spin matters much, I do think that there are probably a fair-sized group of rank-and-file Dems who might move from economic pessimists to optimists if Democratic elites start using more confident language, which might in turn help Democratic fund-raising and volunteering.  On the other hand, a lousy number will reinforce caution in the rhetoric of the administration and other Democratic elites (especially since there are apparently still few if any liberal hack economists).  If it does take consecutive solid months to turn Democratic rhetoric around, then if not now, not until July at the earliest.  So in the short run, I do think that the April employment report is a fairly big deal.

(Keeping in mind that positive employment numbers such as those from March were still not enough to actually reduce unemployment, but were high enough that Dems could be fairly confident that for at least that month net jobs were added, not subtracted).

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