Slow job growth is the worst possible area of weakness right now, and the disappointing August numbers on top of the downward revision for July are, from the Democratic point of view, a major buzz kill. Add to that that the average number of jobs created in 2011 is now below the average level for 2010, and the narrative of a slow but developing recovery has been holed below the waterline — at least until another month brings another set of numbers and, possibly, a more hopeful message.
We will have to wait another few days to see whether the Democratic convention moved the needle on the polls. But the economic background of the fall campaign has now been established in a way the White House cannot welcome. Whatever we are doing hasn’t worked yet; it’s not even close.