Could Obama Lose the Associated Press?

Not likely; the AP has been one of the solidest members of the Democratic Party coalition in recent years. Still, some AP reporters seem to be getting skeptical, as witnessed by today’s headline: “Obama repackages stimulus plans with old promises.”

Ouch. Some excerpts:

President Barack Obama assured the nation his recovery plan was on track Monday, scrambling to calm Americans unnerved by unemployment rates still persistently rising nearly four months after he signed the biggest economic stimulus in history. …

Neither the acceleration nor the jobs goal are new. Both represent a White House repackaging of promises and projects to blunt criticism that the effects haven’t been worth the historic price tag. And the job estimate is so murky, it can never be verified.

The economy has shed 1.6 million jobs since the stimulus measure was signed in February, far overshadowing White House announcements estimating the effort has saved 150,000 jobs. Public opinion of Obama’s handling of the economy has declined along with the jobs data.

For the first time, the administration admitted the economic forecasts it used to sell the stimulus were overly optimistic.

“At the time, our forecast seemed reasonable,” Vice President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, Jared Bernstein, said Monday, explaining that the White House underestimated the scope of the recession. “Now, looking back, it was clearly too optimistic.”

They’re referring to this chart, which we and others have helped publicize:

stimulus-vs-unemployment-may2.gif

Considering the source, this represents a rather startling level of skepticism so early in Obama’s term.

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