You Have to Tell Your Story

Messaging is generally the most overrated aspect of electoral politics. But it’s not nothing. And Democrats need to do better at it. I just wrote a way too long post on this. But it really comes down to this. President Biden has to learn a lesson from President Trump and brag more about the economy. A lot more. And do it consistently. In every public setting. And about COVID too.

Job reports have been up and down this year. But they’ve actually been consistently revised upward after the fact. That’s happened every month for the last six months for a total of 625,000 additional new jobs. In August the number doubled. But this gets drowned out. Revisions of earlier months don’t make headlines. That’s life. But the power of the presidency is to push these things to the front of the conversation.

News reports frequently note the huge numbers of people quitting their jobs as bad news. In fact, those people in the great majority of cases are quitting their jobs because they’re getting other jobs at better wages, often ones they prefer for various reasons in addition higher wages. (It’s simple math. Lots of quits with the number of people employed remaining high means they’re quitting because they can and are getting new jobs. That’s good.) This may figure into the debate about inflation. But really, you can’t expect anyone to tell a positive story if you won’t do it yourself. Rising wages is good news. Lots of jobs available is also good news. It is. So say so.

COVID is a similar story. Boosters are good. They’re going to help get the country back to normal. It’s an example where a President may see things more clearly than public health experts. Two extremely effective antivirals are also coming up for emergency use authorization – one from Merck and another from Pfizer. Combined with boosted vaccines that really puts the country in a position where close to no one should ever need to end up in the hospital because of COVID. Biden doesn’t need to pretend he invented these drugs like Trump did. But he needs to tell the public story. He’ll be judged on it regardless. So it’s folly to let anyone else do it for him.

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