I have a dream. And that dream is that James Carville lives in my elevator and dispenses folksy life advice to me while I ride the elevator to and from my apartment. This is a dream based on a 30 Rock episode where Liz Lemon actually does have a James Carville Elevator Conscience, so I know its possible. I just don’t know what it would take to convince James Carville he needs to do it.
Because when James Carville gives advice, America listens. Or, at least, people with the last name “Clinton” listen, because James Carville is usually right. And, although Barack Obama doesn’t seem too keen on achieving the Carville Elevator Conscience dream, for whatever reason, Carville seems intent on helping him anyway, and his folksy life advice for someone trying to obtain a second term in a notoriously terrible economy?
“Seriously, dude, shut the f**k up already.”
Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville have released a striking new report arguing in stark terms that some key voting groups now reject President Obama’s claim that the economy is improving — and may well reject Obama himself in November.
Democracy Corps, the political consulting group run by Greenberg and Carville, showed several Obama campaign commercials to focus groups in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Several of the group members, who were “all independents or weak partisans and ticket-splitters” and included both Obama and McCain voters from 2008, became irritated when shown Obama ads touting economic improvement. They don’t see that improvement in their own lives, the report says, and they don’t believe Obama when he claims things are better.
“The spots that simply talk about progress on the economy did not do well,” Greenberg and Carville write. “The first offered a graphic depiction of job decline during the early months of the recession and job growth under President Obama. The second highlighted progress on jobs in the automobile industry. These ads did not win over most Obama voters….Half the participants in the groups had voted for Obama, but less than a quarter gave [the auto ad] a positive rating. The spot displaying the job growth graph did not fare much better: only about one-third (12 out of 34) gave this a positive rating.”
Not that they needed an expensive study to find that out, of course. Americans generally vote on how they feel on the issues that are close to the forefront of their lives. In times of economic prosperity, they care less about what they’re paying at the gas pump and more about, say, whether taxpayer-funded abortions are available to married gays or something. In times of recession, however, they care about what the price of fruit is, and how in the hell they’re going to protect their family from the zombie apocalypse when their unemployment runs out and they have to dig into their canned food stores.
Or something, you know what I mean. And so does James Carville.