April 18, 2014

AP: After Years of Touting It, Dems Told Not to Say ‘Recovery’

In a Friday morning dispatch which comes off more as a set of election instructions from “Democratic strategists” than as a real news report, David Espo at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, wanted to make sure that political operatives who don’t read boring pollster reports still get the message: Don’t use the word “recovery” during your fall campaign.

In the course of his missive, Espo falsely claimed that economic growth since the recession officially ended has continued unbroken, and failed to remind his audience that the party has trotted out “recovery” themes several times, only to see historically weak economic and employment results each time. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

ADVICE TO DEMOCRATS: DON’T SAY `RECOVERY’

DavidEspoAPwide

Election-year memo to Democratic candidates: Don’t talk about the economic recovery. It’s a political loser.

… In addition, Stan Greenberg, James Carville and others wrote that in head-to-head polling tests the mere mention of the word “recovery” is trumped by a Republican assertion that the Obama administration has had six years to get the economy moving and its policies haven’t worked.

Coincidentally or not, Democrats have largely shelved the “R” word.

President Barack Obama’s only utterance of it in recent weeks was on April 8, and it was in the context of accusing Republicans of blocking progress on issues that “would help with the economic recovery and help us grow faster.”

… The strategic advice comes at a time Democrats are working to maximize turnout, particularly among women, for the fall elections, when they face a determined challenge from Republicans vying to add control of the Senate to their seemingly secure House majority.

… In their memo for Democracy Corps and the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, the authors propose that to boost turnout among their target groups Democrats should back an economic agenda that “puts working women first,” and says that incomes are soaring only for CEOs and the top 1 percent of the country.

“As a start, Democrats should bury any mention of the recovery. That message was tested … and it lost to the Republican message championed by Karl Rove,” they wrote.

By traditional measurements, an economic recovery has been underway since partway through Obama’s first year in office.

The economy was shrinking when he was sworn in but turned positive in the third quarter of 2009. It has been growing since, although barely so at times.

That final excerpted sentence is not true, David:

GDPquarterly2011and2012

In the first quarter of 2011, the economy contracted at an annual rate of 1.3 percent. So the economy has not been continuously “growing since” the third quarter of 2009.

As to the “Don’t talk about the recovery” theme, Matt Drudge reminded us this morning that hopeful advance bragging about the recovery was a Democratic Party talking point several times during the past few years, most notably in 2010 (links here, here [former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's embarrassing "Welcome to the Recovery" New York Times piece in August 2010], and here).

The Obama administration, with Vice President Joe Biden as their frontman, infamously declared that the summer of 2010 would be “Recovery Summer.” During the 2012 presidential campaign, Barack Obama frequently cited the economy’s alleged progress, while claiming that challenger Mitt Romney’s policy prescriptions would jeopardize it.

The economy did not achieve “recovery” as defined by their good pal Warren Buffett (per-capita GDP returning to its previous peak) until the second quarter of 2013 — and as the Democrat strategists noted, the American people certainly don’t believe that economic conditions are better now than they were before the recession.

As to the issue with the supposedly eeeevil “1 percent,” their economic advances have been larger than everyone else’s (the graph at the link plots the top 10 percent, but it makes the point), it’s largely because the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing has artificially propped up the stock market. The primary reason the Fed’s QE campaign has gone on for so long is that the federal government under Obama has never stopped running frighteningly large deficits. There’s strong reason to believe that if the Fed weren’t buying most of Uncle Sam’s debt securities, no one else would.

Dems now have their marching orders, reinforced by an AP report ensuring that they get the message.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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