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The jobs report that came out Friday is bad news for the economy, of course, but also horrible news for President Obama’s re-election bid. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy puts it plainly: “Mitt Romney now has a good chance of being the next president.” Perhaps not good enough, but at the very least it’s much better than it was before. In a Q&A, the Associated Press asks, “How bad is this for Obama?” Answer: “Pretty awful.”
The unemployment rate increased to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in April as only 69,000 jobs were added in May, spelling potentially big problems for the summer, reports Reuters. Obama’s campaign has always hoped the improving economy would work in the president’s favor, but now that all seems like a pipe dream as things are much more likely to get worse before they get better, writes Politico. It may seem like journalists are exaggerating for effect. After all, the election is still months away. The problem though is that history has shown us that voters’ perception of the economy “begin to lock in several months before an election,” writes the Washington Post’s Dan Balz.
Some analysts are particularly negative on what the jobs report could mean for the president because they contend that this was Obama’s last chance to show some good economic numbers before the full force of the European crisis descends on the United States. Talking to donors in Chicago and Minnesota, Obama pointed across the ocean, blaming Europe’s sovereign debt crisis for the weak jobs numbers, reports Bloomberg. The Associated Press agrees that Europe’s troubles are one of the issues that are keeping businesses nervous about the future and unwilling to invest in new personnel just yet. “If you're anxious, you sit on your hands,” an economist explained.
In his weekly address Saturday, Obama called on Congress to take action on a number of proposals he put forward as part of a jobs package last year to help the economy and boost job growth. “Congress hasn’t acted on enough of the other ideas in that bill that would make a difference and help create jobs right now,” Obama said, according to the Hill.