Obama loses a top economic adviser. In this economy, is that a good thing?
White House economist and longtime Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee says he's returning to academia. Considering Americans' views of the slow recovery, perhaps that helps the president.
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The campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the early frontrunner in the GOP nomination race, mocked Goolsbee’s resignation by calling it “just another bump in the road” – playing off the CEA chairman’s statement last Friday on the new unemployment figure.Skip to next paragraph
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“There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years,” Goolsbee said in a White House blog post.
The Romney campaign also mocked Goolsbee’s reason for leaving: “President Obama’s top economic adviser is returning to the faculty lounge – while millions of Americans remain unemployed – because he ‘could have lost his tenured position.’ ”
Even if Goolsbee’s departure won’t mean anything to most Americans, the state of the economy certainly does. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that public disapproval of Obama’s handling of the economy has reached an all-time high. About six in 10 Americans now disapprove of how Obama has dealt with the economy and the deficit; two-thirds of political independents, a slice of the electorate he must win to be reelected, disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is seriously off on the wrong track.
The poll also gauged how Obama would fare against various announced and possible Republican presidential candidates. For now, the only one who would beat him is Mr. Romney. But only 21 percent of Republican voters support him for the nomination, versus 17 percent for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has not announced yet whether she will run. In a head-to-head contest against Obama, Ms. Palin would lose by 15 points among registered voters, 55 percent to 40 percent.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who laid out an economic plan Tuesday in a speech in Chicago and is seen as having top-tier potential, would lose to Obama 50 percent to 41 percent. But, the survey pointed out, most Americans aren’t paying attention. Only 22 percent say they’re following the 2012 presidential election “very closely.”