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Obama tries to divert public attention with Romney bashing (2)


08:00, August 10, 2012


Some experts say Obama is trying to gear attention away from the economy, which he has been accused of mismanaging, although others defend the president as making the best of a bad situation.

Nevertheless, the clock is ticking for Obama to show voters he is steering the U.S. toward recovery as the economy climbs out of the recession at a reduced clip, the experts said.

"Unemployment needs to drop below 8 percent for the president to be able to say things are headed in the right direction and that he deserves credit for the economic turnaround," said Darrell M. West, vice president and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, on voters' primary concern in this election season.

And with a chronically high jobless rate of 8.3 percent, many Americans are not thrilled about the way the president has handled the economy.

John Fortier, director of the democracy project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, noted that political scientists look at the first six to nine months of the year as an important indication of electoral strength, and any last-minute good news, such as an eleventh-hour spike in jobs growth, matters little.

With the elections just three months away, Obama's window to turn things around in the minds of voters is shutting quickly.

Still, the president is faring surprisingly well in polls in light of the weak U.S. economy, leading by nearly four points in the latest Real Clear Politics average.

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