On “the 47 percent” and tax returns
Cardiff Garcia: In terms of its importance to the campaign and to U.S. politics, yes, this is a distraction. But I would also say that what Romney said about the 47 percent still matters because he really mischaracterized what that group is made up of and I think that’s something that’ll stick for a little while that’ll be part of a larger debate about the middle class and the welfare state.
On tax policy
Leigh Gallagher: It’s not what’s gonna get us more jobs next month, it’s not what’s gonna prevent us from falling off the fiscal cliff — the urgent things facing the economy are not part of the conversation. … But it’s interesting: historically, when the economy is weak, it usually doesn’t favor the incumbent. But Obama is not suffering right now.
On if this is a “good” economy
Cardiff Garcia:The one big exception is unemployment. Historically, this level would be pretty bad … but if you look at pace of change and not the actual level, that’s actually helping Obama. When we get to the debates, I think you’ll see a resurgence of the economy as a major issue.
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