President Obama will give a major economic address next month to explain the "fresh" ideas he has for creating new jobs, but in the two and a half weeks until he delivers it, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be on the campaign trail talking about all the jobs his state has already created.
Perry and Obama came within seven miles of each other Tuesday -- "I guess we've kind of got competing job tours, if you want to know the truth of the matter," Perry said, according to The New York Times' Mark Landler and Jeff Zeleny. Perry traveled through what has been a more Democrat-friendly part of northeastern Iowa, "a reminder of the president's changed political fortunes," The Times writes. Unemployment is higher in the area, while Obama's approval rating is lower -- below 50 percent -- in the state.
And Perry is commanding a lot of attention: ABC News' Michael Falcone and Amy Walter note that while the president and the governor offered competing economic visions, "only one man dominated the media narrative on Tuesday -- and it wasn't the president." And while Obama's campaign can try to "undermine Perry's credentials by pointing to the underbelly of the Texas economy (deep cuts in education, 8 percent unemployment, lots of low wage jobs etc.)," ABC writes, "But this may be tough to do."
That may be, in part, because the charts looking at Texas' economy are so sexy. Political Math offers a series of impressive graphs showing how well Texas is doing. Its unemployment rate is decreasing, while the national rate remains steady. People are moving to Texas "in massive numbers," and, Political Math suggests, it's not because they got jobs there -- they're moving to Texas to find jobs. Yes, a lot of those jobs are in the energy sector, but subtract that industry and jobs are still growing in the state.
And if Congress refuses to act, Obama will take his case to the American people. So here we go again: another September reset for the Obama White House. In 2009, it was that health-care speech he gave to Congress (which didn’t win over the public but did rally Dems to pass bills that fall and winter). In 2010, it was a new campaign message to sell in the midterms (which didn’t work so well). The president has tried to "turn to jobs" numerous times during his presidency, and they’ve come with a ballyhooed speech or rollout. Will this time be different?