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Hope has gone: Replaced by excuses
Between his lackluster convention speech in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday night and his appearance in Portsmouth on Friday, President Obama was hit with yet another lousy jobs report. Only 96,000 jobs were created in August, a drop from the 141,000 in July. Another 368,000 Americans gave up looking for work in August. That’s more than the population of Tampa, Fla., where Republicans held their convention. The percentage of the working-age population either working or looking for employment was just 63.5 percent, its lowest point in three decades.
But on Friday, Obama bounded onto the stage at Strawbery Banke with a huge smile and a spring in his step. The energy not apparent on Thursday night was back. With the temperature nearing 90 degrees, he delivered a rousing version of the speech he gave in Charlotte, and the crowd of about 6,000 people responded enthusiastically.
Obama spun the jobs report as good news, saying, “business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row ... .” But, he said, “that’s not good enough. We know it’s not good enough. We need to create more jobs faster. We need to fill the hole left by this recession faster.”
Then, of course, he blamed Republicans for the economy’s failure to create more jobs. From there he delivered the same basic speech he had given the night before, only with more feeling. But the magic just was not there. When Obama campaigned in New Hampshire in 2008, agree with him or not, he was inspiring. Now, the hope has faded, replaced by a litany of excuses.
The President said at one point, “I need four more years and we can move forward.” That is a far cry from the “hope and change” of four years ago. Obama has gone from “Yes, we can!” to “I need four more years” before we can. And he proposes to do in the next four years exactly what he has done in the last three and a half. As the President said, that’s not good enough. And Granite Staters are realizing it.
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