As President Barack Obama’s polling numbers start to fall, it is clear that the country is growing impatient for positive results from the Recovery Act. One clear problem here is simply a matter of public relations. Obama seems to send two messages: 1. He is not happy with the current rate of progress and 2. he is confident that his strategy will reap benefits down the line. Neither of these approaches work with an audience who is thinking “what have you done for me lately?”
Perhaps someone is whispering in his ear because this week’s video address finally spells out some concrete successes and also puts the rate of recovery in a proper context. Obama needs to do more of this, not less. In summary:
- A two year plan is being judged as a failure after four months — unrealistic expectations — folks need to get real.
- The recovery act has already provided 43 billion dollars in tax relief.
- State deficits that would have doubled without the recovery act, have not done so.
- 3000 jobs were created in California for a solar plant.
- 2600 jobs will be created in Michigan manufacturing wind turbines.
Obama neglected to mention that the rate of job loss although disturbingly high is slowing. The number of jobs lost per month is less than it was six months ago.
While some of his opponents accuse him of spinning too positive (the most vocal of which say he is outright lying), I don’t think he is telling enough of a positive story. With a country hungry for the change they voted for in November, Obama must use every opportunity to present concrete and specific progress reports to the American people.
And now the President of the United States of America: