ANALYSIS: Although there was no balloon drop on the closing night of the Democratic National Convention, there is likely to be a real sense of deflation among Democrats this morning.
The latest monthly jobs report came in below economist's expectations.
American employers added 96,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department reported Friday, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, according to the ABC News Business Unit. But the economy slogged along for the 43nd month in a row with joblessness above 8 percent and economists had expected an addition of 125,000 jobs.
President Obama knew about these disappointing numbers before he took the stage in Charlotte last night and remember the message he sought to convey:
"I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth," Obama told a cheering crowd at the Time Warner Center in Charlotte. "And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one."
Forget all the talk about the president's speech -- or anyone else's -- this week in Charlotte setting the course for the final 60 days of the campaign. It's all about the economy, as it has been from the beginning. As ABC's Mary Bruce notes President Obama will likely respond to the latest jobs data this afternoon when he hits the campaign trail in New Hampshire and Iowa. For the first time this year, the president will be joined on the trail by his wife, the vice president and Dr. Biden.
Obama holds rallies in Portsmouth, N.H. this afternoon and Iowa City, Iowa, tonight before heading to Florida.
We also expect Mitt Romney to weigh in on the numbers when he arrives in Iowa for a campaign event later today. Romney will be following the opposite path of Obama across the country, heading from the Hawkeye State to New Hampshire by this evening.
Romney already blasted out a statement summing up his campaign's message: "If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover. For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely."
And Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus previewed the GOP response to today's report in a statement this morning:
"Just hours after President Obama asked America for a second term, we received a clear reminder that he has yet to keep his number one promise to fix the economy," Priebus said. "The indisputable message of today's job report: We're not creating jobs fast enough, and we're certainly not better off than we were four years ago. Time is up Mr. President.