Yes We Can? The recession is real right now — so we’re not sure whether to be skeptical about Obama’s optimism during a recent “60 Minutes” interview or hope and pray that he’s right.
President Obama predicted in a television interview that the country’s stubbornly high unemployment rate could drop to 8 percent by election-time next year.
“I think it’s possible,” Obama told “60 Minutes” in a White House interview that is set to air on Sunday. He then hedged somewhat.
“I’m not in the job of prognosticating on the economy,” Obama added. “I’m in the job of putting in place the tools that allow the economy to thrive and Americans to succeed.”
Last month, the national unemployment rate fell slightly, to 8.6%, after having been stuck between 9.0 and 9.2 from April through October, labor officials said.
It hasn’t dipped to 8% or lower since Obama took the oath of office amid the economic recession that began in 2008.
Despite Obama’s optimistic outlook, he admitted the economy remains in rough waters, and that people are naturally going to question the abilities of their ship’s captain.
“No matter how well we’re steering the ship, if the boat’s rocking back and forth and people are getting sick … [and] if you’re asking, ‘Are you enjoying the ride right now?’ Folks are going to say, ‘No,’” the President said in an excerpt of his interview with CBS’s Steve Kroft.
“People are going say, ‘You know what? A good captain would have had us in some smooth waters and sunny skies, at this point,’” he added.
“And I don’t control the weather. What I can control are the policies we’re putting in place to make a difference in people’s lives.”
The president’s approval ratings have been dragged down by perceived missteps in his handling of the economy, according to a CBS poll.
Obama told Kroft he doesn’t believe he “overpromised” improvements to voters, nor did he “underestimate” the difficulty of righting the country’s ship.
“I always believed that this was a long-term project,” he said.
“And you know, for individual Americans who are struggling right now, they have every reason to be impatient. Reversing structural problems in our economy that have been building up for two decades, that was going to take time.”
He added that he has always thought the economic problems would not be solved in his first term — and he said it will “probably” be the case that more than one President will need to shoulder the burden of solving the myriad problems related to the country’s economic performance.
Poor thang… People thought Obama was gonna be Jesus, making water into wine and stuff. Do you think there is any hope of things improving before the end of his first term?