http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/170309-plouffe-says-jobs-rate-not-key-in-2012 By Ian Swanson - 07/07/11 08:25 PM ET President Obamaâs senior political adviser David Plouffe said Wednesday that people wonât vote in 2012 based on the unemployment rate. Plouffe should probably hope thatâs the case, since dismal job figures arenât expected to get any better for Obama and the economy on Friday. Most economists expect a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to show that the nation added about 100,000 jobs in June. Thatâs not enough to keep up with population growth, let alone lower the unemployment rate or make a dent in the 9 million jobs lost during the so called Great Recession. Itâs looking more and more like Obama will have to do something no president has done since Franklin Roosevelt: Win reelection with unemployment around 8 percent. Ronald Reagan, another president Obama is sometimes compared with, was reelected in 1984 when unemployment was 7.2 percent. Obama isnât likely to see a number that low. Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moodyâs Analytics, predicts the nation will have added 110,000 jobs in total in June, with 125,000 added in the private sector. Hiring by the public sector will continue to fall. The economy would have to add 350,000 jobs every month between now and December 2014 to get back to the pre-recession low of 5 percent unemployment, last seen in December 2007, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Reagan saw that kind of growth after the recession of the early 1980s, and it helped him win reelection by a comfortable 18 points. He also faced Walter Mondale, a weak opponent, from the opposing party â a bit of history Obama hopes to repeat in 2012. The economy hasnât seen such high-octane growth since August 1993 to February 1995, when it last averaged 350,000 jobs created per month. Even during the tech boom in the latter half of the 1990s, the economy didnât average that many jobs, according to Heidi Shierholz, an economist with EPI. The Obama campaignâs hope is that voters will feel the economy is improving in the fall of 2012, just as they did when Roosevelt and Reagan were reelected. That seemed to be at the root of Plouffeâs remarks on Wednesday, as quoted by Bloomberg. âThe average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,â Plouffe said, according to Bloomberg. âPeople wonât vote based on the unemployment rate, theyâre going to vote based on: âHow do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?â â The remarks will likely irritate Democrats who think Obama and his political team have taken their eye off jobs. Thereâs some reason to think Obama could get a boost from the economy in the second half of the year, particularly given signs that the White House and congressional Republicans are moving closer to a deal that would lift the nationâs debt ceiling and cut trillions from annual deficits. Thereâs no doubt such a deal would boost confidence in the economy and the political system. It could also boost hiring. Layoffs have basically stopped since the recession, said Shierholz, but employers arenât hiring even though corporations are expected to announce huge profits for the first half of the year. âWe are still treading water at the bottom of a deep hole,â said Shierholz. The only real improvement in the labor market since the recession ended is with workers who have decided to sit out the slow economy and not look for a new job. Thatâs helped keep the unemployment rate low, Shierholz said. Zandi argues the economy was sidetracked for the first half of the year by a number of shocks that he hopes are temporary. They include the devastating tsunami in Japan that wreaked havoc on manufacturers around the world; turmoil in the Middle East; the ongoing conflict in Libya that sent crude oil prices to summer highs in the spring; and the debt talks, which Zandi said appear to have led the Treasury to slow outlays to avoid breaching the debt ceiling. âThe ill effects of these shocks are or will soon fade and even add to growth during the second half of the year,â Zandi said in an email. He expects payroll employment gains to be back near 200,000 by the end of the year. If Zandiâs right and those gains continue through 2012, Plouffe might be proven right, too, as voters could be pleased with their position. But there isnât a lot of room for Obama to maneuver when it comes to the unemployment rate. **I'd love to be smoking from the pipe that these Obama advisors are hitting. So clueless and out of touch!!! The economy/unemployment will be the #1 issue for voters in 2012!!! Obama and his stooges so disturbed by today's numbers that he is scheduled to speak at 10:35am. Wow, the 'anointed one' even canceled his vacation for this weekend. He'll probable want to propose another trillion dollar stimulus bill, since the first one has worked so wonderfully!!!! LOL!!!!