Management

Will You Renew the President’s Contract?

Economic metrics have improved, but they’re not where they need to be.

March 21, 2012
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This has been a bizarre political year,” Charlie Cook, political pundit and editor/publisher of The Cook Political Report told attendees during Tuesday’s General Session. 

There have been seven different front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination, each with his or her unique differences, he added.

Republican voters effectively established three job requirements and that’s why they’ve had a hard time settling on someone. Each job requirement has pointed to a different candidate:

1. Full-spectrum conservative.Who’s conservative from A to Z? Rick Santorum.

2. Championship debater.Who can stand up next to President Obama in a debate? Newt Gingrich.

3. Someone who can beat President Obama in November.One thing that brings together all Republicans is their opposition to Obama: Mitt Romney.

Will Obama be re-elected? Economic metrics are better now than they were, but they’re not where they need to be. This will be a challenge for Obama.

 “Look at last fall—the economy was in horrific shape,” Cook said.

With an economy growing at less than 2%, it’s difficult to get re-elected, he said. The unemployment rate was at 9% or higher for 29 months in a row. The current rate is 8.3%—a full point higher than when any president has ever been re-elected.

The statistic that’s the best predictor  of how an incumbent will do is the president’s job-approval rating. The biggest component of that is the economy, including factors such as:

• Oil and gas prices. “No president can control gas prices because they’re driven by international events,” said Cook. “But if there’s a perception that the president has been dragging his feet on the Keystone Pipeline, which will bring oil down from Canada, that could be a problem.

"And if there’s a perception that he was or wasn’t as aggressive about drilling as he should have been, then that could be a problem, too. We can expect the energy crisis to continue to intensify, and this will undoubtedly take a toll on the economy.”

• The rest of the world. The world economy is being pulled down, and China’s is slowing down. It’s unlikely the economy will continue to improve for the next eight months at the same pace it has for the past four months.

"The default setting,” Cook said, “is do you want to renew a president’s contract for the next four years? Yes or no?”

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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