Via NBC First Read, “[t]wo political subjects that haven’t received the attention they probably deserve surfaced late last week, and surface again today: the economy and class:

On Friday, the Labor Department reported that just 78,000 jobs were created in May, about half of what had been expected. During the 2004 presidential campaign, political reporters treated each jobs report like it was a message from the political gods. But Friday’s report, which also showed the unemployment rate dipping to 5.1%, has received scant attention, even though a strong argument can be made that it’s the less-than-stellar economy — not Bolton, Social Security, judges, or Schiavo — that’s responsible for the Administration’s sagging poll numbers.

The issue of class popped on Thursday when Howard Dean said that many Republicans “have never made an honest living in their lives.” While most of the attention on that “honest living” comment focused on whether Dean was correct (or wise) to make it, Dean’s remark brings up a bigger point: How do Democrats talk about class to win elections? In the last two presidential elections, Democrats talked plenty that Bush’s policies benefit the rich at expense of the poor and middle class — but they lost. Has class become obsolete as political issue? Or do the Democrats need better messengers than Al Gore, John Kerry, and Howard Dean?

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