Friday, applications for unemployment rose by 13,000 and a disappointing job growth report released last week shows that job creation for March was half that of the previous three months. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should focus on the economy numbers, data which can be used in his favor, rather than getting sucked into politically hot issues like the "war on women."
The media hype surrounding this "war on women" has triggered the emergence of political figures like Romney and Sandra Fluke. This is a huge distraction for Mitt Romney and will play better for Obama, especially since a recent Gallup poll shows that, since 2008, the economy is still the top issue for Americans.
The job creation study released last week shows that 120,000 jobs were created.
Ostensibly, the unemployment rate has dropped from an atmospherically high 10.5% to a stratospherically high 8.2%. However, a recent Wall Street Journal article points out that the real unemployment rate is 12%.
Many are quick to point out that the drop in the unemployment rate is chiefly due to an exodus of "participants" in the U.S. labor force. Since unemployment is a ratio of those currently looking for work who do not have a job over those who are "participants" in the U.S. labor force, when previously unemployed people exit the labor force, the unemployment rate is vastly improved regardless if they are employed or not. Currently, the job participation rate is at a 30 year low of 62.3%.
President Obama and Romney are in the critical part of the election game: defining your opponent before your opponent defines you. As the two presidential candidates size each other up for ways to better resonate their message with voters, Romney should avoid defending attacks about himself and his family as the mega successful business owners they are. Ironically, these are the primary reasons why Romney connected with the American people to begin with. Americans want to hear what a business man with proven success in the private sector would do to fix the economy as opposed to "career politicians" like Obama. Instead, Romney should go on the offense, deflect these attacks and show a path to economic recovery.