Based on the flashy and largely hate-filled week Republicans spent in Cleveland for their nominating convention, it’s no surprise that Donald Trump got a tiny “bounce” in his national ratings, only 1.5 percent by some pundits.
Meanwhile, now that Democrats have ended their week-long nominating process in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton got a far higher bounce of four percent, based on a CBS poll showing Clinton is up on the Donald 46 percent versus 39 percent for Trump. After the GOP left Ohio but before Democrats entered Philadelphia, the two candidates were tied.
But there’s more bad news for Donald Trump. Based on another new poll released Monday, Mrs. Clinton is leading Mr. Trump by seven p0ints.
Going To Ohio
Headed west out of Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton and her newly named running make Virginia Senator Tim Kaine made stops in Pennsylvania before crossing the border into Ohio. In their final stop Sunday in Columbus, the Democratic ticket started to reeducate the American public about who, exactly, is responsible for the Great Recession, and who can fix it.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who had the bad luck to become governor when the economic bottom fell out in late 2007, did his level best to keep Ohio from becoming an economic basket case. And that would have happened if John Kasich or Rob Portman or Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate, each of whom lays all the blame at the feet of the president and former governor, had seen their policies of more income tax cuts for the rich and more austerity for everyone else put into play.
Gov. Kasich and Senator Portman have so far successfully ignored the severity of the economic downturn, so they can then minimize the uphill battle to recovery the White House had to surmount, from a too-small recovery packaged larded up with tax cuts to austerity budgets under the leadership of former Ohio Congressman John Boehner, who undercut the White House’s efforts to mount a faster recover at every step, and even Congressman Paul Ryan not voting for the Simpson-Boles plan Democrats warned about that President Obama seemed willing to sign up for.
With former Gov. Ted Strickland on stage with the Democratic team today, Tim Kaine then Hillary Clinton got to turn on the history channel once again to show a rerun episode of why things turned rotten after eight years of a Bush White House that enjoyed six years of Republicans in control of Congress.
Tim Kaine, her running mate who speaks fluent Spanish and started out humbly as a Richmond city councilman before winning elections for mayor, then governor and now U.S. Senator, seems to take pride in flying flaming arrows at the Trump Train in particular and Republicans in general for their culpability in forcing a relaxation of banking rules that metastasized into the sub-prime mortgage crisis that took Ohio and nearly every other state to its knees.
Traveling as a team following their marriage as a ticket in the City of Brotherly Love, Sen. Kaine reminded voters exactly how bad the economy was after eight years of President George W. Bush.
“The American economy was in a freefall at the end of the Bush administration,” Kaine said, preceding Mrs. Clinton. “President Obama has pulled it out, and we’re climbing again.”
With her turn at bat, Hillary connected for a solid hit on Strickland’s management of state in freefall.
“Now, there’s somebody else with us, somebody very special to us, somebody special to Ohio, your former governor, Ted Strickland,” Hillary Clinton said in her remarks today in Ohio’s capital city. “I’ve had the great privilege of knowing Ted for decades. I’ve seen how hard he has worked. He got dealt a bad hand being governor during the Republican-generated Great Recession and doing everything he could to try to help Ohio and get through that.”
Gov. Kasich loved to share people’s pain from being left out of the recovery during his long, unsuccessful presidential campaign trail that ended May 4th, following another drubbing from voters, 49 in all, that time in Indiana. Rob Portman, a political bosom buddy of John Kasich’s, was budget director then international trade representative for the junior Bush’s White House. Portman and Kasich are understandably uncomfortable when the topic of who lead the march into the Great Recession begins—starting thirty years ago when President Ronald Reagan let regulations lax in the name of business growth —and what they would have done differently than the White House with Obama in it or the Statehouse with Gov. Strickland in it. Ohio media is too blame for refusing to ask either of them to detail what they would done differently? Would they have refused federal state stabilization funds, or cut taxes or signed austerity budgets—or all three?
President Barack Obama, in particular, and Democrats, in general, have tried with little success from Beltway or Buckeye media to remind the public that when the 44th president entered office in January 2009, the nation was in free fall, losing 800,000 jobs per month.
In fact, Politifact reported that between October 2008 and November 2008, the economy shed 803,000 jobs, between November 2008 and December 2008, the economy lost 661,000 jobs, and from December 2008 until January 2009, just before Obama’s swearing in, lost 818,000—the highest number of President Bush’s time in office. Over his two terms in the White House, George W. Bush had a net loss of one-half million jobs. Quite embarrassing when compared to one-term President Jimmy Carter, who was saddled with Arab oil problems, created over seven million jobs.
For the record, the Great Recession is defined in statistical terms this way at Wikipedia:
“The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) dates the beginning of the recession as December 2007. According to the Department of Labor, roughly 8.7 million jobs were shed from February 2008 to February 2010, and GDP contracted by 5.1%, making the Great Recession the worst since the Great Depression. Unemployment rose from 4.7% in November 2007 to peak at 10% in October of 2009. The bottom, or trough, was reached in the second quarter of 2009 (marking the technical end of the recession, defined as at least two consecutive quarters of declining GDP). The NBER, dating by month, points to June 2009 as the final month of the recession. For all of 2008, the United States incurred a net loss of 3.617 million jobs, and for 2009, a net loss of 5.052 million jobs. Unemployment rose from 5% in December 2007 to peak at 10% in October 2009. On January 26, 2009 a day dubbed “Bloody Monday” by the media, 71,400 jobs were lost in the U.S.”
When Ohio’s CEO-style governor is allowed to escape, question-free, from offering even on hindsight what Kasich or Portman would have done had they been governor instead of Strickland, it’s a miscarriage in doing their duty to their readers by the once vaunted but but now little respected Fourth Estate.
Democrats may be regaining their voice, and a backbone, to express themselves again on how the nation got to where it is, and who can keep it from going back there again, like a horse galloping back to the barn.
It’s good that Hillary Clinton and Tin Kaine are venturing back into ancient history—just a short eight years ago—to update the story of how Barack Obama, the fireman, got blamed for the house ablaze because he showed up while it was still burning. If real firemen were subject to Republicans’ angry amnesia, our safety forces would be blamed for every fire they came to put out. And using water—or the equivalent, Ohio’s emergency “rainy day” fund, to do the dosing would be scoffed at by the likes of Gov. Kasich or Portman as wasteful government spending.
A favorite for Gov. Kasich and Sen. Portman is that Ted left the rainy day fund with 89 cents in it. Good for Ted for using the right tool for the terrible job.