The Manufacturing Jobs Score by President Since 1948

By Stephen Herzenberg, Third and State

After former President Bill Clinton claimed the “jobs score” was better in Democratic presidential administrations than in Republican ones, Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa and I did some research to see how presidential administrations scored on manufacturing job creation since Harry Truman. Our findings are published on AlterNet this morning.

We thought it was important to do this analysis because manufacturing jobs are typically family-supporting jobs – in other words, good jobs. Manufacturing also plays a critical role in the growth of overall living standards, a point on which there is bipartisan consensus.

What’s the punchline? Democratic administrations (seven since 1948) on average add around a million manufacturing jobs every four years. Republican administrations (nine since 1948) lose about a million manufacturing jobs every four years.

We think these findings will be especially salient in battleground states such as Pennsylvania where voters in manufacturing-intensive regions make up a large share of swing voters.

For more, read our full piece on AlterNet.

DNC2012 Wednesday Schedule

tonight’s highlight is former President Bill Clinton.  Other speakers to watch are Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, Elizabeth Warren, Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware and Richard Trumka (6Pm hour).  Members of the Congressional Black Caucus will also speak along with retiring Congressman Barney Frank.  I’ve never seen a convention where openly gay speakers were prominent and almost every speaker refers to marriage equality.

Herman Cain’s Sexual Infidelity

Ginger White went on Atlanta news last evening to disclose she had a 13 year intimate affair with the very married Herman Cain.  She says he broke it off about eight months ago which would probably coincide with his decision to run for president.  He denies the adultery but says the private sex lives of people are their own affair (pun intended) and not for public consumption.

This is the case for public persons who don’t claim the moral high ground, don’t comment on the sexual affairs of others, who don’t judge other people’s private sexual affairs or who don’t adopt “family values” as a political position.  Let us take the issue of gay marriage for instance, Cain opposes the right of gay Americans to have their loves and relationships equal with those of straight Americans.

Cain actually has a section on his campaign site dedicated to “family values.”  The difference between Bill Clinton’s infidelities and Cain’s is hypocrisy and that’s what makes it relevant.  If you’re going to stand and claim to be holier than thou you’d better be.  Ask Joe Paterno about it.  Bill Clinton never claimed to be a saint and we all knew he wasn’t so when Monica’s blue dress came out who cared?

Herman Cain can’t run on family values and against gay marriage when it appears he’s a sexual harasser and had a 13 year adulterous relationship.  We aren’t talking about a fling here but a long extramarital relationship.  He announced yesterday he will attend a family values conference in Arizona.  Gloria Cain went on Fox News after the sex harassment allegations defending her husband.  I wonder how she feels this morning?  Does she know who “that person” is today?  We do.

The issue here isn’t adultery it is hypocrisy.  I don’t actually care who Cain has slept with or what they did in bed though I know Rick Santorum will.  Cain cannot claim same sex relationships are immoral however when he is an adulterer.  He cannot run on “family values” knowing he had a 13 year affair with Ginger White.  The man is a lying phony who lives by the principle of “do as I say not as I do.”  He has no moral authority to dictate to me who I sleep with or what I do privately or whether I can be equal with him under law.  He’s nothing but a lying hypocrite.

Clinton/Kanjorski

Todd Eachus, House Majority Leader, introduced Dan Onorato to kick off the event about 90 minutes late.  The Allegheny County Executive promised to preserve water quality from big gas drillers although he has accepted over $400,000 from them.  Northeastern Pennsylvania has been hit hard by contaminated water aquifers.  The people of Dimock famously light their tap water on fire so that received a big hand.  Today Gov. Rendell issued a moratorium on gas drilling on state lands.  

Congressman Kanjorski called Lou Barletta a “failed Mayor” for raising taxes and bringing toxic waste into Hazleton.  He asked his supporters to use social networking to help get out the vote next Tuesday.  He reminded those here that he has brought many jobs to the District and when the area needs something “I can pick up the phone and call the President.”

Bill Clinton said “the Congressman has given him another reason to come back to Northeastern Pennsylvania and I’m glad for that.”   He recognized Onorato for being “Hillary’s leader over there.”  He reminded those in the gym that Pittsburgh is one of the least affected cities in the country during this recession.  “every Republican in the country wants this to be a referendum about you’re being angry.”  It isn’t, he said, “because making important decisions when you are mad is always a bad decision.”  He reminded everyone how the Congressman saved 5,000 jobs at Tobyhanna Army Depot and how he is working to bring new jobs for a training center.

He also mentioned the coming train from Scranton to Hoboken for the thousands of commuters in NEPA who work in New York City.  He mentioned the important financial work being done by the incumbent in Congress.  The Kanjorski Amendment in the financial reform bill allows the government to break up the “too big to fail” banks if they again threaten the country’s economic health.  As the current foreclosure crisis looms and, again threatens a financial meltdown his work may become extremely important.

“Elections are looked upon as “fixing things but it isn’t always easy to fix things.  The other side is making this a referendum on how you feel.  What the Tea Party people say they want is a balanced budget, a smaller government and that is exactly what I provided as President.

“The Republican story goes like this…Ok, we left the country in a big hole, but the Democrats are going to choke the country.”  They say the government is the problem but the problem is the government is doing too little to fix things, not too much.  “What we’re asking you to do is give us two more years, half the time you gave the other side to dig the hole.”  “The other thing you can do is actually look at the facts.”

Bill Clinton Rallies the Support for Kanjorski

I’m at Nanticoke High School for the Bill Clinton rally in support of Congressman Paul Kanjorski.  The incumbent is in a close contest with immigrant basher Lou Barletta.  The gym here is electric and filling with locals in support of their endangered Congressman.  Polls show Barletta ahead though I don’t have much faith in polls this year.  They were off considerably in the spring and as more and more people go cell phone only they are becoming less and less accurate.

The former President has been hard on the campaign trail for Democrats this year as has Vice President Biden who will be in Wayne tomorrow morning (I’ll be there) for Bryan Lentz.  Expect even bigger names here before the week is out.

Kanjorski released this statement prior to the event:

“I am extremely honored to have President Clinton here to campaign for me again this year, and I look forward to bringing him to my home town,” said Congressman Kanjorski.  “Nanticoke is where I grew up, where I began my career in public service, and where I still live with my wife, Nancy.  I look forward to having Northeastern Pennsylvanians from across the region join President Clinton and me in Nanticoke.”

The President is running about an hour late, normal I suppose for “Clinton time.”

Bill Clinton Offers Joe Sestak A Job

Former President Bill Clinton appeared with Congressman Joe Sestak this morning in Wynnewood and offered him a job as Pennsylvania’s next United States Senator.  Of course Clinton and Sestak were involved in what fringe lunatics keep attempting to paint as an illegal act last spring:  a supposed job offer which wasn’t even a job.  Today Clinton endorsed Sestak at the Jewish Community Center in suburban Philadelphia.  Those Jews in Wynnewood should beware, someone may object to there being a non-christian community center that close to Ground Zero.

Clinton offered Sestak a job when he was in the White House:  Admiral Sestak served on his National Security Council while Pat Toomey was busy passing out millions in Wall Street money to their friends running for office.  It’s a stark contrast in public service.  Sestak accepted the President’s endorsement today:

“I’m honored to have the support of President Clinton on this campaign,” said Joe, who served as the President’s Director for Defense Policy. “During the Clinton Administration, we created 22 million jobs and turned a troubling deficit into a record surplus. We did that because we had a leader who understood that national security actually begins at home – in our health, in our education, in our economic security.”

White House Details Sestak Offer

The White House released details of the job offer provided to Congressman Joe Sestak in exchange for his withdrawal from the U.S. Senate primary against Arlen Specter.  Republicans have been trying to make hay out of this since Sestak was first asked a question in an interview about getting any offers to drop out.  He answered truthfully with a simple “yes” and since then accusations of impropriety and have been raised by Republicans for whom this was SOP in the Bush White House.  Where was their outrage when Karl Rove was making deals like this constantly?

According tot he White House Rahm Emmanuel got Bill Clinton to approach Sestak about keeping his Congressional seat but also getting an unpaid, high level position on a presidential commission for which he was qualified in return for dropping out.  Because the proposed position was unpaid nothing illegal was offered or proposed.

I’m not sure why the White House thought Joe would accept such a minimal offer.  He entered the primary race so Democrats would have an actual Democrat for which to voter last week.  Remaining in his Congressional seat and accepting an unpaid position which did nothing but raise his profile accomplished none of his goals.  Those goals were to represent Pennsylvanians in the Senate so they would have an actual Democratic representative there voting for the interests of working people.  Arlen Specter showed over 30 years that he wasn’t that person.  The White House offer is shocking only in that it was so insignificant.  

Using intermediaries is a time honored tradition when high ranking people seek to better organize primary races and fill out their fields of candidates.  It is an important function of Party Chairs to do this actually and it is done routinely.  How often do we see elections where there may be three candidates for one slot and none for others?  It happens all the time and is a sign of a bad Party Chair.  Good Chairs speak with the candidates, determine the strongest and try to convince the others to run for other open seats.  In this case the White House wanted to keep Specter in the Senate and Sestak in the House and sought a solution.  The fact their offer wasn’t grounded in reality, didn’t take into account the Congressman’s reasons for running or the reasons so many Democrats were urging him to run, and was quite insignificant meant, perhaps, they weren’t all that serious.  Maybe it was an attempt to make it appear they were trying to help Specter but not so committed as to make a serious offer, something like Secretary of the Navy.

The release of the details actually boosts Sestak because it shows he is a man of integrity who cannot be bought off even by the President.  That illustrates his independence from the White House and reminds us he didn’t back away from or attempt to elude a difficult question.  When asked he gave an honest answer.  It wasn’t his duty to provide details and he was most likely unaware of them anyway.  This was the White House’s duty to explain what was done, how and why.

Update:  The details released by the White House (they sent me a copy so I’m using that as my basis for this article) say no offer to be SecNav was ever given and never considered because that post was filled even before Specter switched parties.  The efforts to convince him not to run happened in June and July of 2009.  He was offered, By former President Clinton, a role in Executive Branch Advisory Boards for which he was eminently qualified due to his 31 years of service in the Navy.

Update II:  Joe Sestak released this statement today:

“Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton.  During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background.  He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no.  I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I’d say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.

“There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country.  I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families.”

The Pitfalls of Discussing Race

The never ending media storm over inarticulate remarks made by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid won’t disappear.  Republicans are circling like vultures trying to equate this with statements made by Trent Lott in favor of segregation and segregationist Strom Thurmond.  Here’s the difference:  Lott’s record was infused with support for discrimination and segregation.  Harry Reid’s record is the opposite, he has supported equal rights and fought discrimination.  Therein lies the context and the lack of controversy.

I believe the discussion we should be having over this is about race and class.  Reid’s remarks about light skinned or lighter skinned Blacks, good speaking skills, etc. are discussions we ought to have.  We ought to talk about why it is some African Americans are perceived as “being more white” and why it is they are perceived to be more successful.  This is related to why blondes are considered stupid, red heads were, for hundreds of years, believed to be witches, etc.

When will we, as humans, move beyond any person’s outward appearances and judge each of us on our character.  Facts show tall people tend to be more successful.  Fat people are derided, Hispanics are condemned on many fronts these days as many other minority groups were through our history.

In the Black community those with lighter skin seem to be more valued and thought higher of than those with darker skin.  I recall a time when people who were described as President Obama was by Reid were called oreos.  They were derided by their brethren.  Back then there was almost no Black middle class.  As laws have begun to change our society and more opportunities given to everyone regardless of appearance a Black middle class has become normal and “oreos” not derided as much.  I may be wrong though because I don’t live in a Black or minority community.

Why are we all loathe to discuss race and class?  This is about class as much as it is about race.  Everyone is terrified of saying something inarticulate (I’m using that word on purpose) about race and class and becoming the next Harry Reid.  We do need to discuss these issues however.  It isn’t only about race.  People need to also understand why the use of terms like fag and dyke are offensive.  Context is always critically important when using such terms as they are accepted or taken as offensive depending upon whom is using the words and how.

Harry Reid’s comments bring up a discussion we should be having but the media is getting it all wrong.  I heard Donna Brazile on CNN this morning talking about growing up with lighter skinned siblings and their discussions about the shades of skin tone and that correlation with success.  No one should be judged this way.  I love the tone of Brazile’s skin.  I find dark skin colors very attractive.  When will the day come when the first impressions we have upon meeting someone is not their gender, race or sexual orientation?  When will we become sufficiently enlightened that we judge each indivual on that individual only and their abilities or lack thereof?

This is a discussion the mainstream media can foster but instead they dwell on the sensational, the political posturing, the fact that the way Republicans are attempting to use this to divide people shows why Trent Lott was so despicable.  Republicans fail to understand the difference between what Harry Reid said and what Trent Lott said and that show me they still don’t understand WHAT Trent Lott said and what he meant.  This shows they still don’t comprehend how what he said was offensive and means we still have a long journey facing us as we try and address these issues.  

The Return of Diplomacy

Instead of threatening them with inclusion on a list of countries to invade or calling them an “evil empire” President Obama dealt with North Korea’s detention of two American journalists by sending Bill Clinton to negotiate and secure their release.  Isn’t it amazing how diplomacy works if a president is actually willing to use the device?  George W. Bush, with his cowboy mentality, disdained and rejected the use of diplomats to solve problems.  He preferred, instead, to use the Army.

What a breath of fresh air.