Bill Clinton did a masterful job of framing the 2012 election. The real question is not whether you are better off after the Great Recession. Voters should be forward looking. They should be making a decision about what kind of country they want to have. Do they want a winner take all economy that continues to favor the super rich like the Koch brothers and Mitt Romney, or do they want an economy that favors billionaires like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates? Mitt Romney and his billionaire friends want an economy in which they garner all of the benefits, and in which they do not have to pay a fair share of the taxes. They favor a government which organizes the rules to favor them, and asks little from them in return. They also favor a government that lets the financial system engage in the practices that created the Great Recession.
The public should also understand that the recovery period for a person who suffered a heart attack is different from the recovery of an individual who had a bad cold. A recovery from a deep recession is also different from a recovery from a mild recession. More new private sector jobs have been created under Obama than were created in eight years of the Bush administration. It takes a longer time to get out the big hole of the Great Recession, and Republicans have made things more difficult by destroying public sector jobs at the state and local level, and by blocking efforts to create jobs. They have also focused attention on budget deficits instead of job creation, but they have no plan to reduce budget deficits. That is because they have no realistic way to compensate for the loss of $5 trillion of tax cuts that primarily benefit the super-rich.