The Onion reported the results of the 2008 presidential election with the headline, “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.”
African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.
The Onion, of course, is satire. But Obama’s opponent in the 2012 election, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, seems to regard that Onion report quite literally. Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer reports on a recent Romney campaign event in Ohio in which the Republican candidate argued that Obama hasn’t cleaned up President Bush’s mess fast enough:
Mitt Romney visited an Ohio factory, closed when President George W. Bush was in office, to make the case that President Barack Obama’s economic policies prevented the facility and others like it from reopening.
Standing in the middle of an empty warehouse floor yesterday, Romney blamed Obama for promoting measures that have slowed the economic recovery.“It would have reopened by now, but it’s still empty,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said.
As Steve Benen puts it, Romney seems to be making “the case for Landon/Knox ’36“:
The facts, for those who still care about them, are not in dispute.
When President Obama was inaugurated, the global economy was in freefall. There was a banking crisis, a housing crisis, a jobs crisis, and an American auto industry — the backbone of the nation’s manufacturing sector — that was poised to collapse. There were genuine fears that the financial system simply couldn’t recover.
Nearly four years later, after a series of steps Obama took with no Republican support, an economy that was shrinking is now growing, an economy that was hemmoraging jobs is now adding jobs, and an auto industry that was crashing is now thriving.