“So today was a fun day,” President Obama laughed at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York City last night. “[N]obody checked my ID at the door.”
Maybe it was fun for him. But while President Obama was handling the crucial national business of releasing his birth certificate, holding dueling press conferences with reality star Donald Trump, and jetting to Chicago for The Oprah Winfrey Show yesterday, the Department of Labor was readying a new batch of demoralizing economic reports.
Economic growth slowed significantly in the first quarter, and the number of jobless claims shot up by 25,000 to 429,000 last week, according to the department. For three weeks in a row now, unemployment claims surpassed 400,000.
Taking trips to lavish, big-city fundraisers is fun. Sparring with a clownish reality-show host is fun. Lounging on Oprah’s set is fun. But if the jobless rate this week is anything like last week’s, then yesterday probably wasn’t fun for the more than 61,000 Americans who are filing for unemployment benefits for the first time. And it’s time for Obama to get serious.