Over 31 million Americans tuned in to watch Obama’s jobs address before a joint session of Congress last night making the address his highest rated non-State Of The Union/death of Bin Laden policy remarks since 2009.
Exactly 31.4 million Americans watched President Obama lay out his plan to create jobs and get the economy moving again. More people watched the President last night than when he spoke about Libya in March (25.6 million), and Iraq in August of 2010 (29.2) million. Fox News was the ratings leader with 3.4 million viewers, followed by CNN (1.9 million), and MSNBC (1.7 million). The jobs speech was nowhere nearly as watched as Obama’s announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden (56.5 million), but for a straight up policy address it did very well.
The increased viewership, even at the awkward time of 7 PM in the East, is a solid indicator of what is on the minds of the American people. Jobs and the economy are the topics that are dominating the American political psyche right now. For most of his presidency, it seems like Obama has talked about everything but job creation. That is not to suggest that the President did not use his time wisely, but that Obama got so bogged down in the healthcare debate that it seemed throw his entire agenda off course.
One of the reasons why Obama’s address last night has been met with a largely popular response is that he is addressing a topic that many Americans have been dying for action on. Obama not only discussed jobs. He laid out his plan for job creation, and almost as importantly, promised to fight to put the American people back to work.
Obama’s shift in tone music to the ears of many Americans who looking for the president to offer a path towards better economic times, and if there is one lesson that the White House should take from these ratings it is that Americans want to talk about jobs. Republicans don’t want to talk jobs. The 2012 Republican candidates don’t want to talk about how they will create jobs. (Hint: Their plan involves more tax cuts for the “job creators” and the killing of Medicare and Social Security).
President Obama should spend every single day discussing jobs. As the debate on his jobs bill heats up in Congress, Obama ought to continue to go in front of the American people and keep arguing for his jobs plan. If Obama keeps talking about jobs the American people will listen, and if he campaigns on a real platform of job creation, not Republican trickle down rhetoric, he will likely win reelection.