Recession

Obama Takes Hit from Economy's Slowdown

Wind out of the sails, so to speak

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Today's news of a 0.1 percent shrink in the 4th Quarter Gross Domestic Product is ambiguous in terms of the economics—the fall was largely due to a drop in government spending and some shuffling of private inventories.

Nonetheless, the politics are unambiguously terrible for Barack Obama. This was a White House humming along with its "Recovery Winter" storyline, and Wednesday's bad number forces them into a defensive crouch after an early 2013 spent on offense. The words "unexpected contraction of the GDP" are never music to a White House, especially a White House singing new tunes on immigration, guns, et al.