Unemployment in the United States has fallen below 8 percent for the first time since Barack Obama became president in January 2009. The new figures suggest that unemployment in September fell 8.1 to 7.8 percent.
Jubilation in the Obama campaign? Hardly, but, surely, relief, and, definitely, consolation for the president after all the brutal criticism of his performance during the Denver debate last Wednesday.
“Never has such a strong political hand been so needlessly, carelessly, calamitously thrown away,” wrote historian and Columbia University professor Simon Schama on the Daily Beast.
On the Republican side, joy is mixed with relief and new hope. Columnists like George Will, David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer lined up in their praise for Mitt Romney’s effort. The Romney campaign has undoubtedly new wind in its sails. But will it last? And is there enough time in campaign for Romney to reinvent itself in the eyes of voters?
Obama campaign will of course make every effort to prevent this from happening. Counterattacks are already underway zeroing in on the question: who is really Mitt Romney — the candidate who moved steadily to the right during the Republican primary election campaign, or the new, “moderate Mitt”, the Massachusetts Governor who worked with Democrats and passed Romneycare?
The Democrats have plenty of ammunition. Just look at Jonathan Cohn’s blog at The New Republic!
In the remaining three debates, on 11 October between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan and on 16 and 23 October between Obama and Romney, we will certainly see a very different president than Wednesday. He, with the help of Biden, must now go on the offensive, because we have a new race.