George W. Bush shocked and dismayed the media when he was president by saying he did not read the papers because, as President of the United States, by time something is in the news he has already known about it for some period of time. The Bush model of being well informed does not quite work for President Obama, in fact he chooses to allow himself to be an intellectual void until the media comes along and fills him with information. This has been the case with so many scandals in his administration, including the most recent one involving Hillary Clinton's private email server while Secretary of State.
The president's dependence on the media for relevant information could be the reason he thinks the economy is doing so well. After all, the media was able to convince many Americans that the economy was on the verge of collapse during most of the Bush years when it was thriving, so to are they able to convince those same Americans that the economy is growing and recovering under the Obama economic policies.
The reason this subterfuge has been so successful is the sound byte mentality of many Americans. This mentality is best illustrated by the unemployment rate. Most Americans, when asked, would say that unemployment is 5.5 percent, what is called the headline number. This number is the result of the real unemployment rate being forced through a grinder of exceptions and exclusions. It is the most misleading statistic because after being tortured and twisted the result is meant to fool the American people and make politicians look economically heroic.
The recent "decline" in the unemployment rate is based largely on the decline of the Work Force Participation Rate. This statistic counts as a percentage the number of able bodied adults who are working or looking for work. Work force participation has declined from approximately 64% when President Obama was inaugurated to around 62% today. Which means that if the Work Force Participation Rate were the same today as it was in 2008 the unemployment rate would be a staggering 9.7%.
Considering the all important Work Force Participation Rate would mean that the unemployment rate has gone up by over two percentage points during the Obama presidency. That would explain the most working aged people being unemployed than at any other time in our nation's history. Of course these are numbers and calculations that the main stream media will never report. Maybe that is why the president appears to be so obtuse about the economic hardship his policies have caused many Americans. After all, we can not expect President Obama to think on his own. I am not sure, but I think that expectation may be racist.