CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 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.
ABC's RICK KLEIN: In an election and a convention that are relying on the powers of the incumbency, the heavy, heady office of the presidency weighed Barack Obama down this week. Soaring rhetoric doesn't quite reach the same heights with nearly four years' worth of experiences, including enough disappointments to fill them out well. Voters were supposed to be the change they were waiting for last time around, so new rallying cries suffer with the echoes of the old ones. President Obama's central challenge in seeking a second term remains what it was before Charlotte: He's running against the memories of his old promise as much as he's running against Mitt Romney.
ABC's AMY WALTER: Forget big ideas and lofty rhetoric. President Obama gave a speech that was much more about pragmatism. The message from the two conventions is this: America, this is going to be a long hard slog. For a weary public, this, at least is a message they can relate to. The question now, is with which man do they want to slog it out?
DEMS TRASH LOBBYISTS, BUT PARTY WITH THEIR CASH. ABC's Brian Ross, Matt Mosk, Rhonda Schwartz and Megan Chuchmach report that inside the Democratic convention hall in Charlotte this week lobbyists and special interests took a rhetorical beating from the party that has tried to carry the mantle of Washington reform. But outside the hall, lobbyists and their friends in Congress were the toast of Charlotte, just as they had been in Tampa during the Republican convention. "If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote," President Obama said as he accepted his party's nomination Thursday night. But at the Mint Museum, a global art museum with a modern flair, top Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta received a steady stream of guests - senior Democratic senators, ranking members of the House, and the congressional staffers and insiders who play key roles in the legislative process. http://abcn.ws/P0Em7b
with ABC's Elizabeth Hartfield ( @LizHartfield)
WHAT CHARLOTTE DIDN'T CHANGE FOR OBAMA. ABC's Rick Klein notes: President Obama came into the Democratic National Convention his own worst enemy, with memories of 2008 haunting him every bit as much as anything Mitt Romney can say about him. Obama did not quiet those echoes this week. His candidacy and his convention speech sought to leverage the powers of the incumbency, but those kept the candidate from soaring like he did four years ago. http://abcn.ws/RifU6p
FACT-CHECKING BARACK OBAMA AND JOE BIDEN. Not sure if something Obama or Biden said was factually accurate? ABC's Greg Krieg takes a look at look at both the president's and vice president's speeches, and where they might have run afoul of the facts. http://abcn.ws/U09qG0
PAUL RYAN: OBAMA IS NOT A CLINTON DEMOCRAT. ABC's Shushannah Walshe reports: Bill Clinton may have spoken at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night, but at a Paul Ryan fundraiser Thursday in a town that's a favorite venue for Democratic fundraising, he was the man who was mentioned the most. And despite the former president's scathing comments about the GOP vice presidential candidate in his speech in Charlotte, Ryan simultaneously praised Clinton and hit on President Obama. "What's happened over the past four years was not a Bill Clinton Democrat," Ryan said referring to Obama. http://abcn.ws/TqeQOE
THAT TERRITORIAL TAX SYSTEM BIDEN RAILED AGAINST. ABC's Jake Tapper notes that Vice President Biden railed against Romney backing a territorial tax system. But a number of advisers to the president support the idea as well - including members of the President's Export Council, the commission the president set up to recommend ways to reduce the deficit, and members of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. http://abcn.ws/RRTW59
CONVENTION HALL REACHES CAPACITY, HUNDREDS SHUT OUT. From outside the arena last night, ABC's Josh Haskell filed this dispatch: Nearly four hours before President Obama would accept the Democratic Nomination for president, the gates outside the Time Warner Center were locked and hundreds of would-be attendees turned away. At one of the main entrances to the arena located at North College and East 5th streets in downtown Charlotte, hundreds stood like sardines, leaning against police barriers, hoping this was just a temporary delay. It's believed the gates were closed around 6:30p.m. ET, but it took law enforcement over an hour and a half to inform the crowd that they weren't getting in. http://abcn.ws/UwA9w2
JULIAN CASTRO SAYS COUNTRY 'BETTER OFF' AFTER FOUR YEARS OF OBAMA. ABC News' senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl interviewed Castro and his twin brother, Joaquin, a candidate for the House of Representatives, on ABC News / Yahoo News' Democratic National Convention show in Charlotte on Thursday evening. Castro urged Obama to "not back away from the idea that the nation is in a better place." "Folks should remember that there were very strong headwinds because he inherited an economy that was in a free-fall," he said. "The nation is lifting up. It's rising, it's progressing, but that's slow progress, but it is progress." http://abcn.ws/NWJx72 (h/t ABC's John R. Parkinson)
CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN GIVES LIFE PRAYER AT DNC. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and a leading Catholic-American voice opposing abortion and President Obama's health care reform law, inserted what some saw as an anti-abortion remark into his benediction Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention, notes ABC's Russell Goldman. "Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us to defend it. Life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected," Dolan said in prayer delivered immediately following President Obama's address accepting his party's nomination. Dolan offered a similar benediction at the Republican National Convention last week in Tampa, Fla. http://abcn.ws/P6dPbT
THE EVOLUTION OF OBAMA'S CONVENTION SPEECHES. ABC's Julie Percha takes a look at Obama's evolution on the convention speech stage, from up-and-comer in 2004 to inspiring nominee in 2008 - and now, to a president arguing he needs more time to fix the economy and didn't betray his promise of change in his first term. http://abcn.ws/RqlGNJ
DEMOCRATIC DELEGATE 'WOULD LIKE TO KILL' ROMNEY. From ABC's John Parkinson and Emily Friedman: New York delegate Julia Rodriguez told a reporter on camera that if she bumped into Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, she "would like to kill him," leading the U.S. Secret Service to investigate the threat. "We are aware of it and will take the appropriate follow-up," George Ogilvie, spokesman for U.S. Secret Service, told ABC News in a statement Thursday. Video surfaced Wednesday of an elderly woman identifying herself as New York delegate Julia Rodriguez at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. In the clip she said, "If I see him," meaning Romney, "I would like to kill him." http://abcn.ws/Q7HiA0
THE MAN BEHIND THE DNC'S MUSIC. ABC's Cecilia Vega and Eric Johnson weigh in on the handful of A-list stars have taken center stage at the Democratic National Convention. Mary J. Blige, Marc Anthony and Foo Fighters performed, and even Scarlett Johansson made an appearance. But there is one celebrity who has been working for the Obama campaign behind the scenes. Cassidy Podell, known as DJ Cassidy, is a sought-after celebrity spin master, so much so that Beyonce and Kim Kardashian booked him to play at their weddings, and he has been known to rake in $100,000 for a single gig. http://abcn.ws/P0wS63
LOOKING PAST NOVEMBER TOWARDS 2016. The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny reports: "Whether President Obama wins or loses in November, one thing is certain for Democrats on the morning after Election Day: the 2016 auditions begin. Democrats gathering here for their national convention were given an early glimpse of some of the party's ambitious prospects who have already started planting seeds for a potential presidential bid. It is far too early for a shortlist of prospective candidates, but nearly a dozen mayors, governors and members of Congress did little to hide their aspirations." http://nyti.ms/U0aN7x
@GOPLeader: Quite simply, these jobs numbers aren't good enough.
?@mckaycoppins: Keep in mind: Obama knew these numbers before he took the stage yesterday. Explains the plea for patience.
@DLeonhardt: The weakness in the private sector is the main reason for the grindingly weak recovery, but it's still remarkable that …