As political gambits go, it’s a pretty astute one. This week, US President Barack Obama launched what looks to be a months-long and undoubtedly contentious campaign to pass an ambitious, $447 billion plan to create jobs in America. With the impact of the recent recession still lingering – and unemployment still hovering above 9% – Obama characterized the jobs situation as “a national crisis” in an address on Capitol Hill. He declared it is time to “stop the political circus” and start helping people. And he urged Congress to “pass this plan right away.” Anyone who follows politics will be familiar with such tough wording, and the spin-o-sphere immediately began to handicap Obama’s chances. But moving into election mode for 2012, we think Obama’s jobs talk makes a lot of strategic sense. First, it puts economic realities into tangible terms: when you talk about jobs, you’re not talking about GDP growth, debt statistics or (God forbid) how you’re going to bail out multi-billionaires on Wall Street. You’re talking about something that affects “real people.” As a communicator, Obama is at his best when he’s clearly talking to that audience, and by pushing Congress to pass his plan he’s lobbing a grenade into the Republican camp that we suspect will be far more promising than, say, health care reform, which became a political quagmire for his Administration. The lessons here, from a communications perspective, are “Don’t forget your core” (labour unions, not surprisingly, love the President’s plan) and, most importantly, “Frame your aspirations in human terms.” With apologies to James Carville, it’s not about the “economy.” It’s about jobs, stupid.