Monday, July 19, 2010

The Daily Strike-7/19/10-Real People

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Make sure you're all caught up in the week in politics by reading our Weekly Strike. Tonight's entry will be a quick one.

UNEMPLOYMENT: For a long time here at the Strike, we've lamented the fact that President Obama hasn't been able to make his message relatable to average voters. His speeches have often come across as professorial and abstract. We've also lamented his lack of focus and resolve on the issue of unemployment, which is the largest issue facing his Presidency. Today, he took a bold step at alleviating our concerns. In a morning address from the White House Rose Garden, the President lambasted the Republicans for blocking an extension of unemployment benefits. Instead of rattling off a series of numbers, he brought in real Americans who have been hurt by the Republicans' obstruction. Behind every political battle are people whose livelihoods, and often survival, are dependent on government action. Oftentimes we forget that, and seem to act like it's all just a game. Republicans certainly have done that these past few weeks. In an attempt to slow down the Democratic agenda and prove their faux deficit hawk bonfides, they have caused men and women to suffer immensely. Finally, President Obama conveyed that message forcefully to the American people. I thought it was very well done, and I hope it continues.

I also hope this effort doesn't come too late. The President has failed to create a compelling narrative for his economic policies, and people seem prone to blame the party in power for everything that's continuing to go wrong with the economy. For that reason, the fundamentals of the fall campaign seem pretty set. But at the very least, Obama is starting to make Republican obstruction feel real to the American people.

WEST VIRGINIA: It looks like we'll have another Senate election this year afterall. The West Virginia legislature approved a bill late tonight that will provide for a November election for the remaining two years of Senator Robert Byrd's term. The interim Senator, Carte Goodwin, will not run for reelection. The obvious Democratic candidate is Governor Joe Manchin, and since he was such a big part in calling for an election, I expect him to enter the race. The best Republican out there is Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, though she is somewhat less well known than the popular Manchin. Early polls have shown Manchin winning a hypothetical match up pretty handily, though West Virginia is an increasingly conservative state, so I wouldn't consider the seat safe for the Democrats by any means. I'll rate it as Lean Democratic.

That's it for tonight. See you tomorrow!

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