The Bush crowd couldn't have been more pleased with the timing of the Martha Stewart verdict on Friday afternoon.
The big news heading into the weekend was almost guaranteed to be the awful jobs report released by the Labor Department Friday morning. The White House needed a world-class distraction and the Stewart jury, eager to wrap things up before the weekend, obliged. It strolled in, as if on cue, with a verdict of guilty on all counts. Distractions don't get much bigger.
The Labor Department report was as grim as faces on a bread line. Despite all the president's promises, the economy added just 21,000 jobs last month. No jobs were added by the private sector. The 21,000 additional jobs were all government hires.
The report also showed that job growth in December and January was worse than previously believed. The January tally was revised from 112,000 to 97,000. The December count dropped from 16,000 to a pathetic 8,000.