Friday, April 21, 2006
In many ways, they say, these are the best of times: Unemployment is at 4.7 percent, lower than the averages of the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. The economy is showing strong, consistent growth, without significant inflation. And the stock market is roaring along.
And yet, the GOP is getting hammered in the polls. Many are predicting a disaster in November for the party, largely due to other concerns: Iraq, immigration, homeland security and job security (or the lack thereof.)
The national Republicans' failure to address several areas of concern shouldn't drown out a good message, but the White House has failed to get that good message out to the public.
President Clinton, whatever his other faults, was an excellent communicator. When the GOP Congress forced him into fiscal responsibility after they retook the House in 1994, he took credit for the resulting boom in the economy. Not surprising that he would take advantage of the good times, since he was elected during a recession and with the slogan "It's the economy, stupid."
The fact that he and other Democrats now take credit for this boom is a testament to good (though warped) communication, as well as a testament to divided government, in which they can take credit for the GOP Congress' actions.
But this time, there is no divided government. The GOP runs both houses of Congress and the presidency, so they must take full credit for failures or successes.
The national economy, which was spiraling out of control after the dot-com boom and bust in the Clinton years, and which severely tested by 9/11, is now a success story.
Bush's new chief of staff and the entire GOP in Congress need to take the cue of the Clinton White House, which took every opportunity to crow about a good economy - even if Congress had more to do with creating it.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
From the AP:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Denmark will launch a "massive" campaign to improve its global image, which was tattered after a Danish newspaper published caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, the prime minister said Friday.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the campaign was not initiated because of the cartoon crisis but that the uproar had given it additional impetus.
"We would have done so anyway. But the cartoon crisis has, of course, underlined the necessity of a reinforced marketing campaign," he said.
The Danish government said it wants to attract more foreign investors, students and tourists to the country. It would market Denmark as a "creative and open nation, as a nation of education," Fogh Rasmussen said, without giving details.
He noted a report published Wednesday by the Economist Intelligence Unit forecasting that the Danish business climate will remain the best in the world for the next five years.
The Danish government has been criticized by Muslim countries for not apologizing for the cartoons published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper on Sept. 30. The government says it cannot be held responsible for the actions of Denmark's independent media.
The cartoons were reprinted in newspapers worldwide in January and February, sparking a wave of protests primarily in Islamic countries. Muslims consider any physical representation of Islam's prophet to be blasphemous.