THREE DAYS IN JUNE:
Normally, you don't think of June as a big political month, not even in an election year. Of course, there are several primaries and caucuses scheduled during the month. But we already know Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee. So, with respect to our friends in CA, NJ, NM, ND, SD, MT, UT, PR and the Virgin Islands, your primaries hold us in no suspense.
There are, however, 3 possible game-changing dates coming up in June.
June 1 -- Unemployment numbers are released.
This will be the most important report (showing May numbers) until the November 2 report (October numbers) which will be released the Friday before the election. That's because between June and September, whatever numbers come out will be shrugged off as "influenced by summer employment" by the talented spin-meisters on both Left and Right. But the June report will be revealing.
Obama could use a boost here. Lately the U3 unemployment % has been falling, with some level of job creation month after month.
That's good for the President.
But the reports have also been receiving greater scrutiny that reveals higher long-term jobless numbers and more workers just giving up the search. That's not good for the President.
A break in those back-trends, coupled with lower U3 and continued job growth, will be siezed upon by Dems as a true signal Obama's policies are taking hold. The status quo (or worsening trends) will add fuel to the Republican fire.
June 5 -- Wisconsin's recall election: Gov. Scott Walker vs. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett
In 2003, California's Governmor Gray Davis was sucessfully recalled in favor of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but that was small cheese compared to this. Reason: both sides think they're holding a full house and are betting the farm.
A successful recall would undo a high-profile piece of the 2010 Republican mid-term election victories, and be a direct slapdown to the Tea Party. If Walker prevails, the Tea Party will be similarly emboldened. Their website is already buzzing about a Red November in WI, a state Obama won by 14 points in 2008.
Unions, in the public sector especially, also have much at stake.
The election is not a referrendum on their survival, but one would think so from the level of committed support they have invested. For organized labor, much face will be saved or lost on June 5.
Two media personalities will be especially impacted. One is MSNBC's Ed Schultz, who has all but moved to the Dairy State to support the recall.
Frequent WI-based broadcasts of the Ed Show have dated back to the earliest protests and petitions. Schultz celebrated the 1 million-signature petition drive as grass-roots proof that the little guy can stand up to conservative power brokers like the Koch Bros, even on their own turf.
He has repeatedly called out and ripped into Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives along the way.
If the recall passes, Schultz will rightfully claim top-shelf status among Progressive TV pundits. A loss won't ruin Schultz's career. But it will likely cost his credibility in much the same way unopened vaults have branded Geraldo Rivera's.
Then there's the aforementioned Rush Limbaugh. 2012 has already been a rough year for Limbaugh. He, too, could use a boost.
Rush has pretended not to notice Schultz's attacks ("who's he again?"), and has bragged on his own ratings and those of Fox News which are higher than MSNBC's. Limbaugh recently crowed that the DNC isn't contributing funds to the recall effort because they think the cause is lost. "They've given up," says Rush.
Limbaugh generally avoids predicting election results, as his track record is what you'd expect from a man of his girth.* (* written with respect, as I live in my own glass house here...)
But it's plain Rush thinks the recall will be defeated. If it is, look for a summer blizzard of new "Rush is Right" bumper stickers.
But if the recall wins, it'll further damage his weak record as a prognosticator. He'll probably swear off of picking winners for a long while, which is as close as his enemies will ever get to silencing him.
June 28-ish -- Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care Bill.
Either way, the spin doctors will come out swingin', but it'll be hard to sell anything except the obvious truth: If all or part of Obama's health care bill is ruled Unconstitutional, it'll be a severe setback to the President and the Dems. Or, if the SCOTUS gives ObamaCare a pass, the affirmation will carry equal weight as a great victory. 'Nuff said.
So before you pack up the Family Truckster and take a break from politics for the summer, buckle up for one more high-stakes month of action-packed thrills and excitement in June.