One would think, given so much practice, that the Obama White House would have been better prepared for last week’s wretched jobs report.

Instead, we witnessed the five stages of bad public relations. Delusion: It was a “step in the right direction.” Dismissiveness: Don’t “read too much into any one monthly report.” Grudging acceptance: “It’s still tough out there.” Clich: “There are no quick fixes.” Self-pity: “I suspect that most people in Cincinnati would acknowledge that I’ve tried real hard.”

I suspect that most people in Cincinnati and elsewhere would prefer an economic strategy that consists of something more than blame shifting and the systematic lowering of expectations.