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White House: 8.3 percent unemployment? No! 8.254 percent!

Olivier Knox, Yahoo News
The Ticket

Your daily technically-accurate-but-politically-cringe-inducing spin moment came courtesy of the chairman of President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, who took issue Friday with reports that the unemployment rate rose in July from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.

"More precisely, the rate rose from 8.217% in June to 8.254% in July," Krueger wrote on the official White House blog, adding that acting Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner John Galvin "noted in his statement that the unemployment rate was 'essentially unchanged' from June to July."

Krueger was technically accurate. But his comment raised eyebrows. Republican National Committee spokesman Tim Miller called it "the dumbest spin I've seen in ages."

Obama's chief weakness ahead of November is the still-sputtering economy. No president since World War II has been re-elected with unemployment above 8 percent.

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