Home 2012 races Improving jobs picture good news for Kaine

Improving jobs picture good news for Kaine


by Paul Goldman

As a general rule, an improving jobs picture nationally means that states like Virginia are going to be doing even better. The GOP 2012 strategy is anchored in blaming Democrats for the state of things economic.

I read last night the transcript from the first Kennedy-Nixon debate, a fascinating read. The two future Presidents – the only time this has ever happened – debated domestic issues. Same debate more or less, 52 years ago! But then: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Kennedy had the best of the argument, in part because of the 1958 recession putting the incumbent party on the defensive. He ran in the 8th year of the Eisenhower term, meaning Nixon couldn’t defend by blaming Harry Truman.

Thus, the takeaway from the most famous debate encounter of all, the only one between two men not yet elected President: given the trend of today’s job’s report, as long as the public’s view of the economic continues to improve, Virginia will stay in the Democratic column except for some unpredictable event.

The “Tim Obama” mantra from George Allen won’t work in that environment.

In 2000, George Allen tried the “Chuck Gore” rap in his campaign against then Senator Chuck Robb. Mr. Allen ran more than a percentage point behind George Bush, who carried Virginia that year.

The rap against Nixon back then is that he didn’t go ideological enough, something evident from the debate transcript. Was it mistake? In reading the transcript, I have to agree: Nixon fell flat, he came across too much the moot court debater, answering the charges well, but no music as they say.

Kennedy had the music, his 8 minute opening – off the cuff – was great, and it was the first view the audience got of either man.

I want to watch the video version tonight, but I know get why he did well: it sounded like the JFK in his famous Inauguration Speech, the guy had the gift. No wonder Nixon was in awe of him.

Reading the debate transcript, I have a hard time believing the stories that Kennedy lost to those listening on the radio unless his voice turned people off. There is no real data to support that urban legend.

Anyway, back to Kaine vs Allen: unless the economy goes South, Kaine is going up North to DC as the next Senator.

  • The addition of 243,000 jobs last month is great news for thousands of families and shows that our economic recovery is continuing, though there’s much more work to be done.  The good news is that the U.S. economy has added private sector jobs for 23 consecutive months and manufacturing remains a bright spot, but too many Americans are still struggling through the wake of the worst recession since the 1930s.  In the coming weeks and months, it is imperative that our leaders in Washington set aside partisan games and find common ground to advance important measures that will encourage economic growth, like an extension of the payroll tax cut through the end of the year and hiring incentives for our returning veterans. I hope our leaders will also recognize that our long term prosperity depends on their ability to responsibly reduce our deficit while still making the types of investments in education, workforce training and infrastructure that have helped pave the way for our recovery. The dangerous ‘all cuts’ approach that my opponents advocate would turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made. Instead of a return to the same failed economic policies that helped create this mess, I believe we need forward-looking investments that will help us emerge from this recession even stronger than before our economic collapse.

  • Any word from Felix? Not much from the rest of the Republican’ts. Fascinating.

  • Mallsus2

    January 2009 -820,000

    January 2012 +243,000


    Net Change +1,063,000/mo

    In Realityland this is referred to as Improvment aka Progress.