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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 06/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Obama versus Romney duel has reached its zenith. Irrespective of who wins the Tuesday vote, Americans will have to keep a tab on critical issues concerning unemployment and growth.

This time around, it seems to be none of the business of either the Democrats or the Republicans to keep themselves bogged down on an agenda of foreign affairs with their electorate, as technically the United States is not at war. The unfinished episode of Afghanistan is already on its last leg with a timeline for withdrawal agreed and communicated with the host country. So it's the economy stupid that will go on to create fissures until the vote is cast. That was squarely evident, as both the candidates remained glued to Labour Department's statistics on job creation and the rising ratio of unemployment.

The news that 171,000 new jobs were added in October, which was more than expected, came as a jiff of fresh air for President Barack Obama, who went on to boast in Ohio that his policies have worked. Romney, nonetheless, had its own axe to grind who cited the vulnerability of the economy by saying that it reminded of a virtual standstill, as jobless rate is higher than it was when Obama took office. But the fact is that faster job creation in the US economy will go as a credit to Obama. The task ahead, nonetheless, is quite gigantic. There is no escape for either Obama or Romney to reach a budget deal with legislators - in the next few weeks - in order to prevent 600 billion of tax increases and spending cuts.

With Obama generally a point or two ahead of his rival, the Nature too had its own contribution to make. Hurricane Sandy seems to have reinforced Obama's leadership graph as he was seen rubbing shoulders with Republican governors and mayors who desperately found themselves clueless against a committed icon. Tuesday will spell out as to who managed to unite voters in adversity.


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