This weekend is the most confident I’ve felt concerning President Obama’s re-election chances. The key element in this feeling is a single number, 8.6%. That’s our current unemployment rate. It’s a clear, surprising improvement from all our recent numbers. There are lots of important caveats to consider and 8.6% is not ideal… but relatively speaking, Obama can point to this figure as a very clear indicator of positive movement in the economy.
In terms of foreign policy, I’d argue that Obama’s term has been much more successful than anyone could have reasonably asked. Unfortunately for him, America’s so tired of looking beyond our shores, the President’s team will have to work to remind people of his litany of accomplishment. We’re focused on home.
While the economy continues to sag and broad successes are hard to find, being able to tout a specific number like an 8.6% unemployment rate will give voters the impression that the economic climate is improving. Considering the weakness of the GOP field, this kind of improvement will probably be enough to secure a second Obama term.