WASHINGTON (CNN) - How long will the voters give President Barack Obama to turn the economy around? The president-elect is already laying down markers:
- Last month, Obama pledged, "We are going to create 2.5 million jobs."
- This month, he laid down another marker: "That is how we will achieve the Number One goal of my plan, which is to create 3 million new jobs."
- And then another: "The report confirms that our plan will likely save or create 3 to 4 million jobs. Ninety percent of these jobs will be created in the private sector."
Obama is urging patience. "It's going to take some time," he told ABC News. "It's not going to happen overnight."
So, just how long will the voters give him? Let's look at the experience of other new presidents elected in bad times.
When Ronald Reagan took over, the unemployment rate was just over 7 percent. When Bill Clinton took over, the unemployment rate was just over 7 percent. What's the unemployment rate now, when Barack Obama's about to take over? Just over 7 percent.