The surprising link between the future GOP presidential nominee and the upcoming Facebook initial
Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans are gleefully pounding President Barack Obama for the weaker-than-expected employment report released on May 4. Growth seems to be weakening and Romney is positioning himself as the business-minded economy savior for the country.
At the same time, the Facebook IPO, anticipated to value the company at more than $75 billion, is a tangible sign of the vast amounts of wealth and income being generated by the communications boom and the so-called App Economy. Smartphones, broadband wireless, social media, apps -- all are combining to provide a potent force for economic growth.
So the question is: Should Romney be worried about an "App Surprise" -- a sudden acceleration of growth and job creation fueled by the smartphone/communications boom?
That might seem unreasonable given the other drags on the economy. Yet Romney and his advisers would be wise to remember the events of the 1996 election campaign.
IS IT '96 AGAIN?
Running against President Bill Clinton, Republican challenger Senator Bob Dole repeatedly called the economy "stagnant" and "weak", and promised a better economic policy. As late as May 1996, these attacks seemed right on target. In fact, the employment report released May 3, 1996 -- almost 16 years to the day before the recent disappointing BLS report -- showed virtually no gain in jobs in the previous month: 2,000 new workers. The badly lagging Dole campaign had new hope.