Today's jobs numbers aren't looking good for the president -employers created just 69,000 jobs in May. That's lower than expected, and it pushes the unemployment number up to 8.2 percent. This is the first increase in 11 months, but its not the May unemployment number that voters will take to the polls, it's how the economy will look in September and October that will count. I've thought from the beginning that this campaign season will finally come down to "how is the economy?"
Both campaigns were doing a little stunting this week--in "great secrecy" the Romney people took reporters to the failed Solyndra plant in San Jose, Calif. Reporters got on the bus not knowing exactly where they were going, the Romney folk saying the secrecy was necessary because Obama's people might try to disrupt the meeting. Meanwhile, the Obama team tried to keep secret that David Axelrod, Obama's chief campaign strategist was planning a news conference in front of the Massachusetts state house. The idea was to paint Romney has a not-so-successful governor. The Romney folks did get wind of it and organized a counter rally aimed at drowning out Axelrod.
I think both events will be soon forgotten but the job numbers won't--if they get better they'll help Obama, if they get worse, advantage Romney.
Sunday we've Axelrod in the studio, and we won't let him be drowned out. After Axelrod we'll talk to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, and we'll guarantee him the same deal: a chance to talk without interruption but both of them know I'll be there with a question or two they may or may not want to answer.
We'll continue the discussion with a round table that includes Former Governor Ed Rendell, D-Penn., Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, The Washington Post's Michael Gerson (the former Bush speech writer) and The Week's Bob Shrum (he was John Kerry's strategist in 2004).
And finally we'll bring in the authors of two new books on foreign policy, David Sanger author of, Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power and Daniel Klaidman, author of, Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of The Obama Presidency. The New York Times published an excerpt of Sanger's book today, you can read it here, Newsweek put out an excerpt of Klaidman's which you can read here.
We'll see you on TV this Sunday. Check your local listings so you don't miss a minute.