On the one hand, you have facts, which are devastating to the Obama re-election effort. We have now learned that only 114,000 new jobs were created in September. Do not let anyone tell you this is a good number. You need to create more than 200,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth, and we haven’t come anywhere near that since April.
Add that to other facts: The official unemployment rate remains an absurdly high 7.8 percent three years into a so-called recovery, while the real unemployment rate (which includes those underemployed and those who have stopped looking for work) remains unchanged at 14.7 percent.
Economic growth was only 1.3 percent in the second quarter, and unlikely to be much better in the third. We have another deficit that will come in well over $1 trillion. The national debt has topped $16 trillion. We have 23 million people unemployed and 46 million people on food stamps.
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And a looming fiscal cliff — the dreaded Taxmageddon of new tax increases scheduled for the end of the year — is guaranteed to send us back into a new recession if it is allowed to happen.
These are facts. They add up to one unmistakable picture, which is that Barack Obama is a failed president.
On the other hand, you have stories. Obama likes to tell stories, and actually claims that his biggest failing as president is not telling enough of them. He tells a story about Mitt Romney proposing a $5 trillion tax cut for wealthy people only. He tells a story about Mitt Romney proposing to raise taxes on the middle class, and raising Medicare premiums by $6,000 a month. He even tells a story about the private sector doing fine.
Obama loves these stories because they allow him to create a narrative about a president cruising to re-election. That’s why last Wednesday’s debate may prove to be much more important than your typical presidential debate.
Until Wednesday, many Americans were more familiar with Obama’s stories than they were with the facts. He is allowed to say pretty much whatever he wants on the stump, and in media interviews, and he is not challenged. The media are too busy demanding “specifics” from Romney to deal with the facts about what has happened in the country under Obama’s policies.
I’m not suggesting that the electorate thinks things are good. They know things are not good, which is the reason Obama can’t get past 50 percent even in skewed polls that oversample Democrats. But prior to the debate, Obama was entitled to his own facts. He was able to tell bold-faced lies about Romney’s proposals and spin his own record to make it appear much better than it really is.
And because this has been so easy for Obama to do, he was completely unprepared for the fact that Romney would stand up to his storytelling and throw one fact after another back at him. The image of Obama — head bowed, stammering — was priceless, because it was the picture of a man who was finally being held to account for the truth, and simply had nothing to offer in response.
More than 70 million Americans saw this. For the first time, many of them became familiar with the facts, and with the distinction between the facts and Obama’s stories.
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That does not mean we have seen the end of storytelling designed to rescue Obama. Because the new jobs report included a slight dip in the unemployment rate — from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent — you can expect Obama and his media allies to proclaim, “Good news for the president!”
That will be the story. The facts are something else entirely, and Wednesday’s debate was the first time many voters were exposed to the facts. That’s why Romney won the debate, and that’s why Obama is desperately trying to come up with a new story.
Following the conclusion of his presidential campaign, Herman Cain established The Cain Solutions Revolution, an organization whose mission is to educate the public and advocate for the policy solutions that drove his campaign for the presidency. Read more reports from Herman Cain — Click Here Now.
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