He's off to Vegas this weekOctober 19 2010 at 3:17 PM
does he ever spend a whole week in Washington?
Obama's Vegas Act
by Jim McTague
Monday, October 18, 2010
President Barack Obama will be on stage in Las Vegas on Oct. 22 for a "Get-Out-The-Vote" rally, which is better than being in the Oval Office as the latest unemployment data for the states are released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Playing to the partisan crowd, he's bound to hear applause instead of getting raspberries from critics of his economic policies.
The DNC this week will conduct a lottery to select three of its donors to spend time with the President backstage at the event. What better way for him to deflect negative, pre-election news than by engaging in some game-show silliness? If I were a betting man, I'd lay down odds that Obama's back-stage meeting attracts more news coverage than the BLS data.
Even so, the employment numbers will have a significantly greater impact on voter attitudes than the campaign stunt because behind the abstraction are 15 million tragic stories.
The country's overall unemployment rate has been above nine percent for 17 months. This explains most of the despair and hostility showing up in polling numbers. Drill down to the state level and you find a worse picture. Thirteen states showed double-digit unemployment rates at the end of August and a total of 22 showed rates above 9%. Small wonder, then, that this year's congressional election resembles a rebellion.
The September job numbers, which will be the last to be released before Nov. 2, are expected to be equally grim.
Coincidently, the state with the highest unemployment rate at the end of August was none other than Nevada, at 14.1%. That translates into a great many disenchanted croupiers and explains why incumbent Democrat Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate leader, who has represented the state in that chamber since 1986, is threatened by Tea Party challenger Sharron Angle, a former substitute teacher who served in Nevada's state Assembly. Fair or not, the party in power always gets blamed for the prevailing economic climate.
Other high-unemployment states include Michigan at 13.1%; California, 12.4%; Rhode Island, 11.8%; Florida, 11.7%; South Carolina, 11%; Oregon, 10.6%; Indiana, 10.2%; Illinois and Ohio, each at 10.1%; and Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi, each at 10%. Republican candidates are doing well everywhere but Oregon, where moderate Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden remains popular.
University of Virginia's Larry Sabato sees the GOP picking up eight to nine Senate seats. Currently, Democrats hold 57 seats, Republicans hold 41 seats and independents hold two seats. Sabato's projection is for 49 to 50 GOP seats; 48-49 Democratic seats; and two independents caucusing with the Democrats. Democrats would be able to break any ties with a vote from Vice President Joe Biden.
Sabato sees the GOP picking up at least 47 House seats, probably more. Currently in the House there are 255 Democrats and 178 Republicans and two vacancies. If Sabato proves correct then the GOP next year will have at least 226 seats. The Democrats will have around 209 seats.
Each of the lottery winners will receive a coach-class airplane ticket valued by the DNC for tax purposes at $1,100; a one-night stay at a hotel valued at $100; and admission to the Moving America Forward rally, where they will have their meeting with President Obama to hear his two cents. And, according to the DNC, the retail value of that exclusive meeting is zero. If they're lucky, maybe Wayne Newton will pop in.
Re: He's off to Vegas this week
|October 19 2010, 3:22 PM |
"Democrats would be able to break any ties with a vote from Vice President Joe Biden."
But they cannot stop a filibuster, so they will have no choice but to compromise. That is the key.
no doubt will announce more federal subsidy of Reid's train
|October 19 2010, 5:04 PM |
"subsidy" meaning federal funds that disappear around a transportation project that's never completed...
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