The Note

"Mr. Bush isn't out of the economic woods yet. For voters, jobs and income matter far more than GDP statistics — and by those measures, the president's record is still weak. The unemployment rate remains near a nine-year high, and even during the third-quarter boom, the economy shed 41,000 jobs."

"What's unclear — and what matters most for Mr. Bush and his would-be Democratic challengers — is just how much households are benefiting from the economic spurt. Individuals are certainly spending as if they are better off. Purchases of durable goods, such as automobiles and furniture, grew at a blistering 27% annual rate in the third quarter."

Paper of Record-er Dick Stevenson writes it's all about the J-O-B-S. "Strategists in both parties said specific month-by-month unemployment and job creation figures would be less important in political terms than the trend in employment over the next year. If the economy shows steady job growth as the presidential campaign heats up, they said, Mr. Bush will be less vulnerable to Democratic attacks even if the job gains between now and Election Day do not offset those already lost. LINK

Deborah Orin of the New York Post analyzes the 7.2% annual growth rate and surmises the political ramifications thusly: LINK

"Still, the very different reactions to yesterday's good news underscore that Bush's campaign relies on optimism while his Democratic challengers are stuck hoping for gloom and doom."

The Washington Post 's John Berry and Mike Allen write, "The report was a major political boost for President Bush." LINK

After yesterday's report of the sizzling — or was it blistering? — economy, the Wall Street Journal editorial board does the "I told you so" dance about the Bush tax cuts.

So do others.

USA Today 's Susan Page and Judy Keen report, "President Bush said Thursday that startling economic growth in the third quarter of the year is vindication for his tax cuts. His advisers said they hope it's a sign that hiring will pick up soon." LINK

The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank has the president asserting the success of his tax cuts. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Anne Kornblut reports, "Democratic candidates for president quickly dismissed yesterday's news as irrelevant." LINK

And how about that "Breaking News" e-mail yesterday from BushCheney04@GeorgeWBush.com that ticked off the "signs" pointing to a "strong recovery," the first of which was Notably, "The economy is adding new jobs." The Note also found it interesting that after all the economic news in the e-mail, readers were encouraged to "DONATE NOW!"

In looking at the economic numbers yesterday, we quoted ABC News' Ramona Schindleheim. Of course, we meant Ramona Schindelheim. The Note regrets the error and will deny itself all Snickers for the next 72 hours in pertinence.

ABC News Vote 2003: Kentucky, Mississippi, and Philadelphia: The Washington Post 's Edward Walsh profiles the Kentucky gubernatorial candidates, with a downbeat tone for the Dems. LINK

The Los Angeles Times spotlights the Bluegrass State's gubernatorial contest as a bellwether for 2004. LINK

Ernie Fletcher was touting Thursday's good economic news, while Ben Chandler was wooing labor and asserting that despite the good economic indicators, we are in a "jobless recovery." LINK

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