Burning Question

Obama's new 'Morning in America' strategy: Will it work?

Like Ronald Reagan 28 years ago, President Obama is prominently cheering the emerging signs of economic recovery

With fewer than 20 days left in the 2012 election, "President Barack Obama is finding his inner Ronald Reagan," says Zeke Miller at BuzzFeed. After tiptoeing around the signs of a recovering economy during the campaign, Obama has now embraced the green shoots, working the dropping unemployment and foreclosure numbers, the rebound in manufacturing and housing prices, and the near doubling of the stock market into his stump speech. (Watch below.) "If it's not yet fully 'Morning in America,' Obama wants voters to know it's at least past dawn." Is embracing the economy a good idea?

Channeling the "Morning in America" theme is a no-brainer, says Brent Budowski at The Hill. There's a striking similarity between the "economic, political, and thematic conditions" today and at this point in the 1984 campaign: Reagan, like Obama, was a "personally popular president... running at the inflection point when the curve of economic pain intersects with the curve of economic revival," and like in 1984, all the data points point to a sunny tomorrow. "Reagan called it Morning in America. Obama can call it the American comeback," and if he can tell the story right, "he will win his chance to reach for greatness in a second term." 

The strategy isn't without risks, says Greg Sargent at The Washington Post. As we've seen, Republican challenger Mitt Romney "is proving to be a very convincing bearer of the message that the Obama economy is nothing but a disaster," and he has hundreds of millions of dollars to drive home that argument through "swing state ads depicting the economy as sliding ever deeper into a worsening human tragedy of epic proportions." The key question for the election may be which argument rings truer to key voters. Either way, since "Republicans are going to do everything possible to ensure that Obama owns the economy," he should "try to own it on his own terms." 

Read more political coverage at The Week's 2012 Election Center.

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