U.S. President Barack Obama laid out an ambitious $450 billion package of spending plans and tax cuts designed to stimulate the economy and create badly needed jobs.
International Business Times spokes to Jamie Chandler, a professor of political science at Hunter College in New York, to discuss the main points of the speech.
The President’s Forceful Tone Helps Reactivate His Restive Base.
Liberal Democrats have been critical of the president over the past several months. These same voters where a key part of his election success in 2008. The president’s fighting spirit may revive their confidence in him, and their commitment is critical in helping the president mobilize fundraising and voter support through primary season.
The Content of the Speech Appeals to Key Demographics.
The construction industry’s 22 percent unemployment rate is two times the national average. Many of these unemployed are union members, a core constituency of the Democratic Party. Connecting, rebuilding educational institutions to improved education gives teachers confidence that the president is on their side, and preempts some risk of Republican opposition. (Rick Perry has a strong relationship with some of the largest public works construction companies in the US.)
However, Men Are Being Much Harder Hit by the Recession Than Women, and Men Have a Much Stronger Affiliation with The Republican Party.
The issuance of the president’s formal proposal next week, followed by the president’s public appearances to promote it will need to offer a strong message to male workers. The Republicans have been very effective in tapping into this anger to gain supporters.
The Proposal Will Give a Large Benefit to Small Business Owners, a Demographic That is Being Heavily Targeted by Both Parties.
Democrats targeted small business owners in the 2006 and 2008 elections with much success, but Republicans were able to capture them in 2010, and the Republican candidates have made much mention of them in their campaign rhetoric. A payroll tax cut offers small business owners a tangible incentive in which the president can use to claim credit in next year’s election.
The Speech Will Give the President’s Approval Rating About a 5-7 Percent Boost, But This Could be Short-Lived.
The presidential campaign and deficit reduction plan under debate this fall could rob the president of keeping Congress focused on job growth. Partisan bickering around the deficit reduction Super Committee’s proposal due later this month could rob public support for him. The president will need to use his bully pulpit power to keep the proposal, strategically position it to place blame on Republicans for any potential failure, and hold his approval rating closer to 50 percent.
Passage of the Jobs Act Could be a Boon to New York and New Jersey
The region will benefit from the influx of capital for public works projects that have been tabled due to budget cuts. New Jersey has been gradually trending Republican over the past few elections, so it'll be important for Democrats to use these carrots to regain New Jersey voters’ loyalty. The move also helps preempt any potential entrance of Chris Christie in the presidential race. He has been a strong, vocal opponent of infrastructure spending.