Top 5 Dying Facts That Endanger Obama’s Reelection

A brilliant and widely circulated Chicago Tribune obituary claims that Facts has died. If you haven’t read the whole thing, here is a flavor:

Through the 19th and 20th centuries, Facts reached adulthood as the world underwent a shift toward proving things true through the principles of physics and mathematical modeling. There was respect for scientists as arbiters of the truth, and Facts itself reached the peak of its power.

But those halcyon days would not last. People unable to understand how science works began to question Facts. And at the same time there was a rise in political partisanship and a growth in the number of media outlets that would disseminate information, rarely relying on feedback from Facts.

… Facts is survived by two brothers, Rumor and Innuendo, and a sister, Emphatic Assertion.

Services are alleged to be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that mourners make a donation to their favorite super PAC.

I’m a starry eyed optimist, so I choose to think Facts is still on life support hoping for a miracle recovery. But if the President and his team can’t successfully breathe life back into five key Facts that are currently on life support, it’s difficult to see how he can win in November.

Fact #1: Obama opted for a private health insurance reform model developed by Mitt Romney and other conservatives, rather than an insurance plan run by government.

Fact on life support.
• Fact on Life Support: Only 25% of people who took the Kaiser health reform quiz understood that Obama’s health reforms will not “create a new government run insurance plan to be offered along with private plans.”

• Implications of Death: GOP parrot trainer Frank Luntz has commanded his cockatiels to repeat the phrase “government takeover of health care” for a very sound political reason, because market research shows that is a compelling reason for moderate swing voters to oppose health care reform. The more swing voters believe that falsehood, the less they like Obamacare and Obama.

Fact on life support.
Fact #2: Bush policies and the economic downturn under Bush were the most powerful causes of the ballooning national debt, and Romney wants to extend those Bush policies.

• Fact on Life Support: Out of twelve issues, there is only one issue where voters say Romney would do a better job than Obama – handling the deficit. Voters currently believe Bush disciple Romney is the best person to tackle the debt that Bush policies largely created.

• Implications of Death: The size of the debt is especially concerning to moderate swing voters, so getting blamed for causing that problem badly hurts the President’s prospects of wooing that key constituency.

Fact #3: Obama’s stimulus package of tax cuts and investments helped ease the pain and damage done by the Great Recession.

Fact on life support.
• Fact on Life Support: Over half of independents (56%) believe the stimulus didn’t make any difference.

• Implications of Death: The central issue of the campaign is the economy, stupid. If swing voters don’t believe Obama was effective on the issue that concerns them the most, look out.

Fact #4: In terms of private sector job creation, things have gotten significantly better during Obama’s time in office than they were under Bush and the the Bush policies Romney proposes to resurrect.

Fact on life support.
• Fact on Life Support: Three-fourths (75%) of independents believe that the economy has gotten worse or stayed the same, and 77% of independents believe the economy is still in recession.

• Implications of Death: Even if most voters blame Bush for the economic meltdown, as most still do, according to polls, it’s difficult to see how swing voters who believe that things are still headed in the wrong direction will vote to rehire the incumbent President.

Fact #5: In the Obama years, taxes for the middle class were near historic lows.

Fact on life support.
• Fact on Life Support: Eighty-five percent of independent voters incorrectly believe taxes on the middle class either increased or have not changed.

• Implications of Death: Independent swing voters vote their pocketbooks, and oppose paying more in taxes. If they perceive that they were paying high taxes in the middle of a recession, the Democrat in charge will get the lion’s share of the blame, because Democrats are usually presumed to be advocating for higher taxes.

Of course, there are many other falsehoods hurting Obama. Little things like he is a foreigner, Muslim, socialist designing death panels to kill off your loved ones.

But in a year when the economy is the top issue, and with the health reform bill about to get hot again after the Supreme Court rules, these are the five dying Facts that are hurting Obama the most with swing voters. Team Obama needs to resuscitate good old Fact, or Obama’s political career will perish with him.

– Loveland

Legislative Update: Job Champions Cut 7,000 Jobs

There are so many uncertainties weighing heavily on the minds of state legislators these days. Take, for instance, the fate of Minnesotans yearning to get blasted at Gopher games and on Surly Brewery tours. I must admit, it must be difficult to sleep.

But fortunately, one thing is certain: Minnesota legislators are very, very concerned about JOBS, and are working 24/7 to retain and create them for all Minnesotans. After all, they repeat the word “jobs” hundreds of times per day, like Chamber of Commerce-trained cockateils.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio (MPR)
And all the while, reporters follow their job protection heroics intensely.

When TCF Bank moved its headquarters to South Dakota, there were news headlines and political ads mourning the lost jobs. All 15 of them.

When the St. Paul Ford plant was threatened with closure, politicians were flying around the country with bags of money trying to convince Ford executives to retain the 1,900 jobs. The drama led the news for months.

When the Minnesota Vikings threatened to leave the state with its 300-1,000 jobs, politicians dangled a $500 million subsidy. The issue has dominated the news for a decade.

I don’t have a problem with any of that. Those are all important issues, worthy of news coverage and politicians’ attention.

But what happens when the “jobs, jobs, jobs” folks in the Legislature eliminate 5,000 government jobs? Five thousand, more than all of the aforementioned high profile job losses combined? The legislative job creaters congratulate each other, and the news of the job losses is largely buried.

Make no mistake, the loss of those jobs hurts the economy too. Those 5,000 Minnesotans use their salaries to pay taxes and buy products and services from local businesses to support their families.

Yes, the “jobs, jobs, jobs” cockatiels say, but government spending is “out-of-control, out-of-control, out-of-control.” Because of this historic out-of-controledness, historically massive spending cuts are justified so we don’t have to ask wealthy taxpayers to pay the same amount that other taxpayers pay. Pant, pant, pant, lather, lather, lather.

Meanwhile, the Twin Cities Daily Planet’s Sharon Rolenc bothered to actually probe the veracity of the “out-of-control spending” shibboleth.

For much of the 1990s, the average share of a household’s income for state and local government hovered around 17.6 percent, peaking at nearly 18 percent in 1993. Nan Madden, director of the Minnesota Budget Project, says today that number has dropped to 15.2 percent.

And government jobs aren’t the only jobs the “jobs, jobs, jobs” being eliminated by the pro-jobs legislators. The Minnesota Hospital Association says legislative actions this year will lead to a loss of 2,000 hospital jobs. Who knew, but it turns out that cutting “government” means denying health care for sick and hurt Minnesotans, and denying health care for sick and hurt Minnesotans means cutting jobs for Minnesota hospital workers.

My point: Just like the TCF, Ford and Vikings workers, the 7,000 government and hospital employees who are about to lose their jobs are a big part of our community and economy too. When they go unemployed, it has a big impact on them and all of us. But it doesn’t look like there will be a community discussion about those job losses that is anywhere near as visible and thoughtful as the community discussion we’ve had about the impact of the 3,000 TCF, Ford and Vikings jobs.

– Loveland

How to Get A Job: Part II

A couple of weeks ago, I posted “How to Find a Job in Public Relations,” a piece that grew out of concern for graduating seniors at my university who are hitting the job market this month. Many of you kindly commented with great advice.

Tomorrow I’m going to be addressing a women’s leadership class through the Mankato YWCA around a slightly different topic: “How to Use Social Media to Get a Job.” Any job, really.

Now, I’m no expert at social media. The last time I posted an image of “the new social media prism,” Benidt quipped that it looked like a turkey on steroids. And it’s true: it does.

But it seems to me that one of the ways you can get through the loss of a position or even prepare yourself for the worst of times is to reach out now to others in your industry or profession, to long-lost colleagues and best friends, to new people who share your interests. Put together a safety net, so to speak, so if you fall you might have a softer landing spot.

Look. You already participate in the social media set. That’s why you’re reading this blog. (And we at the SRC thank you.) But if you actually comment on the posts, you become a public part of the social media landscape and we get to “know” you.

Actually, what we at the SRC don’t want to tell you is how easy it is to set up your own blog. Just go to http://www.blogspot.com or http://www.WordPress.com and if you can follow three steps, you’ll be blogging. Write about your field, your profession, your passion. (Let us know where you are and we’ll send you some “link love.”)

Do you twitter? Why not? In 140 characters or fewer, you can carry on mini-conversations with others around the world about industry openings, helpful articles, best practices in any profession (try #journchat on Monday evenings for great discussions among journalists, public relations people, students and nerdy professors.) WARNING: twitter may be addicting.

Are you on LinkedIn? Think of it as a grown-up version of MySpace. Or, how about MySpace or Facebook? Those are certainly ways to build contacts. Just remember: what you put on the Web lives forever.

What other ideas do you have for helping each other out during these uncertain economic times?

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