President Barack Obama officially accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president (WashPost) on the last night of the convention Thursday, delivering a speech that included appeals to voters for more time to shepherd the United States through a slow economic recovery and to continue improving its global standing while warning of the setbacks (NYT) that would come with a Republican presidency.
“The truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades,” President Obama said.
As the candidates head into the home stretch of the 2012 campaign, both Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Obama will visit Iowa and New Hampshire today. Over the weekend, Romney will tape an appearance on “Meet the Press,” set to air this Sunday (NYT), before heading to swing state Virginia.
While Democrats were convening in Charlotte, NC, Thursday, some Obama administration officials were consulting oil market experts (Reuters) on the possibility of tapping into the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as prices remain high heading into the November election.
“Republicans could also be expected to accuse Obama of attempting to use the SPR for his own political benefit as he tries to convince voters weary of high unemployment and a weak economy to give him a second term. Domestic considerations aside, the administration is nervous about the potential impact on oil markets and the economy in the event that Israel attacks Iran, whether it comes before the November 6 election or in the months after, said another energy expert by cell phone before he entered Thursday’s meeting,” Reuters’ Timothy Gardner writes.
Unemployment dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent and 96,000 U.S. jobs were created in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Today’s figures come two months before the presidential election. Employment and the economy are central themes in the campaign, with President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney each trying to convince voters they can best energize the expansion and create jobs,” writes Bloomberg’s Shobhana Chandra in her analysis, which also says the lower-than-expected payroll increase indicates the U.S. labor market is stagnating.
– Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor