Less Analyzed Megan: Here are meaningless unemployment numbers utterly devoid of context, so I can grind my little My Tribe Is Better Than Your Tribe axe.
So is Pethokoukis right? I'm not quite as pessimistic as he is about Obama's chances, but if unemployment really is at 8.5%, I have to think that he will at the very least face a really tough campaign battle--yea, even if Sarah Palin is his opponent.
Obama is not going to run against Palin and he certainly wouldn't lose against Palin. Palin is not a serious person by anyone's standards, which means that she is not predictable. Bush was equally unserious, but he was raised to obey his parents and their advisers. He fought their demands by drinking and screwing around but in the end he knuckled under and just did what he was told to do. Palin was raised very differently, and has never seemed to finish anything she started, from governorship to parenting. If she can't be controlled she's no use to anybody, except as a hoochie-coochie dancer in the Republican Big Top tent, getting men in the door and money out of their pockets.
The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.