2012 saw some truly nutty Obama conspiracy theories. You expect the tin foil hats to be on high alert in an election year, but Alex Jones and the ranks of the paranoid came up with some real zingers last year, including that Obama engineered the Sandy Hook shooting in order to take away Americans’ guns and that he invented a futuristic weather machine and created Hurricane Sandy to trigger panic and win reelction. (Hurricane Sandy… Sandy Hook—coincidence? I think not!)
But one of the more technical theories gained traction beyond the usual conspiracy nuts: When the Labor Department announced a surge in new jobs in October and the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.8%, its lowest since Obama took office, conservative pundits from Joe Scarborough to former GM CEO Jack Welch accused the Labor Department of cooking the books to help ensure reelection for Obama. Jack Welch tweeted:
Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers
— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) October 5, 2012
Today the Labor Department released a new report estimating 157,000 new jobs were added in January, but it also revised the job numbers for the fourth quarter of 2012—and it revised them up instead instead of down by an additional 150,000. Which means that when Welch et al were accusing Obama of conspiracy to make the jobs market look better than it was, in reality it was better than the Labor Department thought at the time.
“The revisions for the fourth quarter would seem to disprove accusations that the Obama administration had inflated job growth ahead of the November election,” writes the NY Times.
So that’s something. No proof yet on Obama not having personally created Hurricane Sandy, though…