My former New York Sun and Forward colleague Amanda Gordon, now at Bloomberg News, covering a New York Public Library fundraising dinner, gets this from Donald Marron of Lightyear Capital: "But of course, the good economy is very substantially because of Obama. It didn't all happen in the last year."
There's certainly precedent for blaming, or crediting, a preceding administration for things that happen in the next administration. Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto had a standing "I blame George W. Bush" gag mocking this during the Obama administration. It seems to me that if one is going to do that in any sort of logical way, though, as opposed to a simply partisan way, one has to be consistent about it. One often hears claims, for example, that the stock market does better under Democratic administrations. Under the Marron standard, would Democrats have to accept credit, or blame, for the first 11 months of Republican administrations that follow, and cede credit, or blame, for the first 11 months of Democratic administrations when they follow Republican ones? And does Congress, or the Federal Reserve, get no credit, or blame? (Never mind the questionable idea that the economy is up to Washington rather than up to individual businesses or businesspeople.) At what moment in the administration does the incumbent, rather than the predecessor, start "owning" the economy? Is it the same for every administration? Or does it depend on the political party and on whether the news is good or bad? If the stock market were down 21% since Trump's election instead of being up 21% since the election, would Mr. Marron be attributing that to Obama?