So, that’s a no?
Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and Senior Adviser, David Plouffe, made an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos Sunday and spoke volumes about President Obama’s record by repeatedly ducking and dodging the threshold question of this or any presidential election – “Are we better off now than four years ago?” To George’s credit, he did ask three times. Problem is, he never got an answer. Yes or No?
Attempt Number One:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is he right, can the president argue unequivocally that Americans are better off today than they were four years ago.
PLOUFFE: Listen, George, I think the American people understand that we got into a terrible economic situation, a recession, only that the Great Depression — the only thing the country has ever seen like it. So they know we had a deep hole. It took us a long time to get into that hole, it’s going to take a long time to out of it.
Attempt Number Two:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no, are Americans better off today than they were four years ago?
PLOUFFE: Listen, George, they did a good job of reciting all the statistics that everyone is familiar with. I think everybody understands we were this close to a great depression we staved that off. We’re beginning to recover. We have a lot more work to do. We need to grow jobs more quickly, we need to grow middle-class incomes more quickly.
Attempt Number Three:
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, it sounds like, a year ago, the president told me, I don’t think Americans are better off than they were four years ago. You still can’t say yes?
PLOUFFE: Well, we clearly improved from the depths of the recession. We were losing 800,000 a month, we’re now gaining them. The unemployment rate was around 10, it’s come down. We’re beginning to see a manufacturing sector emerge, one of the great, bright spots right now is we’re adding manufacturing jobs. The American automotive industry was close to extinction. Mitt Romney would have let it go away, by the way. We wouldn’t have an automotive industry if he was president. President Obama secured that. We are beginning to really make advances in alternative energy in things like batteries.
I’ll say it now and bookmark it. You should too. If we make it through three presidential debates without a single moderator asking the question “Are we better off now than four years ago?”; it will be an absolute dereliction of duty and Governor Romney better wrap his campaign around it and not let it go.
Let’s just be real folks. You’re going to hear a lot this week as Democrats take center stage in North Carolina. I’d say a “lot of BS” but I kinda figured that would just be superfluous and redundant. What you’re not going to hear is anyone making the case that 2012 is better than 2008. And if anyone attempts to, he/she is either crazy, delusional, or been living somewhere else.
The harsh reality is simple. We’re not better off than we were four years ago. Period. So, the only alternative to admitting that truth is to continue the narrative of blaming the previous administration. And that’s precisely what they intend to do.
[Jump ahead to the 1:40 mark]