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Obama Switches Between Past and Present in Describing Recession

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Hans Nichols
November 8, 2011

To listen to President Barack Obama, the recession is either a current condition or an historical event.

The president has toggled between the past and present in the more than 235 references to the economy he has made since Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives one year ago. On Oct. 18, he talked about America’s “post-recession” condition. Six days later, he described “this brutal recession” as a persisting reality.

Obama’s inconsistency could complicate his effort to convince voters the economy has improved and that he deserves a second term, said economists and polling experts. His task, they said, is to talk up the economy, without talking down to the voters who are struggling under it.

“When he’s referring to the recession in the present tense, it tends to aggravate the gloom,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight. “But if he’s too positive, he looks out of touch.”

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This article was posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 8:03 am

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