In 1980, one of Ronald Reagan’s most effective campaign lines was a question about the presidency of Jimmy Carter: Are you better off than you were four years ago?
ABC’s chief Democrat operative, George Stephanopolous, asked President Obama a variation on that question that let the president put his best spin on it. The first part of Obama’s answer should play on a loop starting next summer.
George Stephanopoulos, ABC News: “And a lot of anger out there. There’s so many people who simply don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago. How do you convince them that they are?”
President Obama: “Well, I don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through. I think that what we’ve seen is that we’ve been able to make steady progress to stabilize the economy, but the unemployment rate is still way too high. And that’s why it’s so critical for us to make sure that we are taking every action we can take to put people back to work.”
Add some stock market, unemployment, housing value, salary trends and other economic data in graphics as Obama repeats that first sentence, add graphics about the mountain of regulations that the Obama administration has piled upon the economy, and play it on a loop from coast to coast.