The key to this question is it's attempt to take away any context. We're supposed to forget the economy the President inherited, we're supposed to forget why the economy is not where we want it and we're supposed to hold him alone 1000% responsible.
It's supposed to be that if you're not happy where the economy is then you have to vote for Mitt Romney. This hardly follows. By that logic we'd all have to as who is happy where the economy is currently?
What it really comes down to are U.S. voters. Are they really so shortsighted that this will work? A recent piece by Greg Sargent suggests otherwise-that voters have more context than Romney is banking on:
"The Romney camp operates from the assumption that everyone has decided Obama has failed — a view the base is ideologically committed to — and they just need to be wooed away."
"But persuadable voters may be taking a more nuanced view of the economy and this presidency. Perhaps they are no longer sure how much a president can do to fix the economy; they understand the depth of the crisis and of our underlying problems; they disapprove of the pace of the recovery but understand Obama faced relentless partisan opposition and haven’t concluded Obama’s approach is discredited. They actually agree with his basic priorities and governing goals in key areas, and they are open to the argument that Romney’s approach is not the solution to their problems. The simplistic Obama-as-abject-failure formulation may be a misreading of voter perceptions and of why some are remaining with Obama, and may hamper the Romney camp’s ability to make a stronger affirmative case for his alternative."
If Sargent is right that the U.S. electorate-particularly the swing voters and undecideds are more nuanced than Romney gives them credit for being then we should be in good shape.
Obama did a good job today in saying that he gives himself an incomplete.
"But “incomplete” is the right answer to the question. The President needs to make the case that he’s placed the nation on the path to recovery and has built a foundation for lasting growth — but that there’s still a great deal more to do, and that changing course now would upend the progress that has been made.
One formulation you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the coming days: “we’re recovering too slowly; there’s still a lot more work to be done.” That’s a way of arguing that the country is moving in the right direction, and that we need to build on the current approach, rather than go back to one that failed us last time — while still respecting the economic struggles many Americans continue to endure."
"There’s no denying that the box Republicans have built — Obama himself said that if he doesn’t get it done, we should replace him; now even Obama admits he hasn’t completed the job — is a difficult one for Obama to argue his way out of. The question is whether Republicans have grown overly confident in Obama’s inability to get swing voters to take a longer view or in the assumption that these voters will allow this box to define the choice they face."
"The GOP theory of the race on the economy is that the swing voters who will decide this election can be persuaded the Obama presidency is a failure — minimizing the GOP need to offer a credible and meaningfully fleshed out alternative for the middle class. The Dem theory of the race is that these voters, as disappointed as they are, won’t quite reach this conclusion — and will conclude that the GOP alternative has been economically discredited and wouldn’t prioritize protecting middle class interests. The Dem theory is that voters will also give Obama an “incomplete,” but conclude that this is a pretty decent grade, given the circumstances — and that he is the one who truly has their interests at heart and has earned a chance to finish what he started."