Robert Shrum is hoping for an assist from Ben Bernanke. Perhaps, Shrum writes, the chairman will have the courage to pull a John Roberts, launch QE3, and keep a staggering economy sufficiently upright that "Obama may actually be able to run on a decidedly more upbeat path through the fall."
Mr. Shrum even finds an economist who says, "the economy is stronger than [some of] the recent data would suggest ... We’ve had the numbers say underlying job growth is at 80,000 jobs a month where we could see 150,000 jobs a month. Or GDP at 2 percent, where it’s really at 2.5 percent. That will become evident later in the year.”
Unfortunately, that economist is Mark Zandi who, as Andrew Ferguson has pointed out, "has been overtaken by events so often it’s a wonder he doesn’t have tire tracks on the back of his suit coat."
Mitt Romney has, Mr. Shrum writes, "made himself a hostage to economic misfortune [and] appears to have no Plan B to handle a less dismal, late-brightening picture on jobs and growth."
And what, one wonders, is the president's plan B, should Mark Zandi predictions turn out to be wrong ... again? What, indeed, was the plan B to be swiftly implemented in the event that the stimulus did not keep unemployment under 8 percent, as the administration assured all that it would? Was plan B always the forlorn hope that Ben Bernanke would "do the right thing," and save the administration's bacon?
If so, going on the evidence of this morning's testimony, that is a pretty thin reed.