President Obama's speech and jobs report

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

September 7, 2012 2:27:06 PM PDT
What a weird world Barack Obama inhabits. It's true for any President. But I'm thinking about the current one, especially last night during his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.

The Dems were more organized in their stay-on-message than the Repubs last week. Clint Eastwood weighted the curve disproportionately, but even without his performance (can you imagine if they told you to speak before 20,000 people in an arena and another 30 million on television and you'd just go up there and wing it? Without even a note?) the GOP seemed all over the place with their messages, other than the obvious one that they don't like Mr. Obama.

Anyway, back to the President. He knew something that the rest of us didn't know when he was at that podium. He knew the jobs report that was disclosed publicly this morning. He knew that the economy grew by only 96,000 jobs, and that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, but only because so many jobless people simply stopped looking for work and so are no longer included in the number.

Yes, the numbers, even including the not-included jobless people, are going down and have improved since Pres. Obama took office. But no one says the improvement is fast enough. So it's one reason, perhaps, why the President seemed at times last night in his speech a tad understated, and without the fired-up-and-ready-to-go passion he usually brings to the podium. I'm just sayin'.

All the rhetoric may not mean a twit from either side come Nov. 6. If the economy's improving, experts say the President will likely get a second term. If it's not, and there's a major economic report due out the Friday before the election, then can you say "President Romney"? What did James Carville drum into Bill Clinton's head? It's the economy, stupid. It's the economy.

We'll have the latest from the campaign trail and on the economic news, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, a frightening commute this afternoon for hundreds of subway riders on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. A smoke condition on the J and M lines forced people out of the trains and out of the station. We don't know yet what caused the smoke, but can you imagine being stuck in a smoky train?

And we're looking into the accidental deadly police shooting of a bodega worker in the Bronx, who was running out of the store and away from robbers. He ran right into a New York cop, who had his gun drawn. The gun went off, and killed the worker. Just tragic. But there are questions tonight about why the cop was so close to the door with his gun drawn.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join us, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.



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