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Morning Examiner: Obama’s dog days

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

President Obama can not be happy with the New York Times/CBS News poll released this morning. Not only does the poll show him tied with Mitt Romney at 46 percent, but the underlying numbers show the American people just do not believe he is the best man to tackle the most important issue this November; the economy.

Americans do not believe the country is doing well under Obama’s leadership. Sixty-one percent say the country has “seriously gotten off on the wrong track.” Seventy percent rate the condition of the national economy as “fairly bad” (41 percent) or “very bad” (29 percent). When it comes to their own financial situation, 82 percent of Americans say they are either “staying even” (43 percent) or “falling behind” (39 percent).

When asked if they approved of Obama’s handling of the economy a plurality said ‘no’, 48 percent to 44 percent. By contrast, when asked how confident they were that Romney could “make the right decisions about the economy,” 54 percent said yes.

And it is hard to see exactly what Obama can do to change those numbers. He has completely given up trying to work with Congress on anything. He will have no more legislative victories. Instead, the news has been dominated by Secret Service/hooker scandals, government conference spending waste, rising oil prices, bankrupt green energy companies, a debt-ridden and stagnant European economy, and yes, even a silly dog story.

More importantly though, what could possibly happen to turn this ship around? When was the last time Obama had any genuinely good news? Probably the February jobs report purporting to show that the economy added 243,000 jobs in January. But now that the Labor Department has had more time to digest the numbers, it looks like those gains were actually a mirage. Warm weather appears to have muddled the formulas that the government uses to even out seasonal job fluctuations. Analysts are now predicting weak gdp and job growth through November..

Unless the economy suddenly picks up speed this summer, it is hard to see how Obama can pull ahead of Romney.

Campaign 2012
Charlotte: A sexual harassment suit by a former male junior employee against the male former Executive Director of the North Carolina Democratic Party has turned into a “slow-motion wreck” that could embarrass Obama when North Carolina Democrats host the national convention this fall. Yesterday, WRAL News obtained a copy of the junior staffer’s complaint against his former, which includes detailed descriptions of the alleged harassing behavior. The White House is trying to force North Carolina Democratic Chairman David Parker out of the party for his handling of the executive director’s behavior.

Romney: Behind a podium in downtown Charlotte featuring a sign that read, “Obama Isn’t Working,” Romney attacked Obama’s record on the economy Wednesday: “It is very clear his agenda has not accomplished what he said it would. … At some point, he has to acknowledge this is his economy. …He has failed by the measures he set. You won’t hear that at his convention, but you’ll hear that at ours.”

Virginia: At a Bloomberg News breakfast, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Vir., predicted that Obamacare will be Obama’s greatest liability in Virginia. “I think that the manner in which the health-care reform issue was put in front of the Congress, the way that the issue was dealt with by the White House, cost Obama a lot of credibility as a leader,” Webb said.

Obama: Obama issued a threat to House Republicans yesterday, promising to veto any appropriations bills that spend less than the spending caps set in last August’s debt limit deal.

Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, Europe’s Rescue Plan Falters: The roughly $1.3 trillion in “emergency” loans the European Central Bank gave European banks to buy government debt is running out. This is sending yields on Spanish and Italian bonds higher, making sovereign default a very real threat again.

The Hill, House clears highway bill with Keystone pipeline mandate: Defying a White House veto threat, the House on Wednesday passed legislation that extends transportation program funding through September and mandates construction of a controversial oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

USA Today, India tests nuclear missile that can hit Beijing: India announced Thursday that it had successfully test launched a new nuclear-capable missile that would give it, for the first time, the capability of striking the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

Righty Playbook
The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost makes the case that Obama is the underdog in 2012.

At The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru looks at the latest Pew poll and concludes that Romney should worry less about women and “keep an eye on Catholics.”

AEI’s Scott Gottlieb details the problem with Obamacare’s bundled payments initiative.

Lefty Playbook
Markos Moulitsas attacks Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as a “racist bigot” and tries to tie him to the Romney campaign.

The Huffington Post
‘s Ryan Grim reports that Democrats will introduce the Women’s Option to Raise Kids (WORK) Act. A bill that undoes welfare reform by exempting mothers with children under three from work requirements.

Talking Points Memo‘s Sahil Kapur attacks House Republicans for “pushing policies that disproportionately harm Hispanics.”

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