I’ll be a son of a bitch! President Obama reads TarHeel Red!
In spelling out what Barack Obama SHOULD say I neatly laid out Obama’s speech for him and he delivered what I think was a very strong message; a very good speech.
Obama DID talk about the battle in Washington. He did bring into play the question that each side would have to give and compromise. And he did it while sounding Presidential.
Kudos Mr. President, well done.
Further, I predicted that Mr. Obama would bring up the fact that much of the problems we’re faced with today are the result of Dubya and his policies. I mentioned that he wouldn’t blame Bush directly, but rather use the code phrase “of the last decade”. Imagine my excitement as I was proven right within the first 90 seconds. However, much to his credit, he only ever touched on Bush 2 more time, so I fell short of my “at least 4 times” prediction. Obama took a shot at Bush giving him credit along the lines of Reagan, Clinton and himself; Obama. Further, there was a shot when Obama listed the troubles that brought us to this position included tax cuts to the wealthy, 2 wars and a Medicare Part D program.
In describing the talks, Obama made the point that it was himself that compromised and agreed to a path forward that was not popular within his party. And he did call out Republicans for failing to give ground. So, while he didn’t credit Democrats [that honor was reserved for him] he also didn’t accuse the Republicans of “leaving him at the altar” as I suggested.
Further, I did say that Obama would mention the strategy Republicans have taken in pushing this debate out only 6 months. And he did. But I also said that Obama deride this as politics and blast the “two tiered approach”. And he didn’t. Rather, he made well-reasoned arguments against such a strategy; arguments that I tend to agree with.
Finally, I had thought Obama would take advantage of the fact that Democrats were willing to stipulate that there would be no tax increases in the plan. That in exchange for an extension past the election, they were willing to give on those increases. I was wrong; Obama made it clear he expects the wealthy to “pay their fair share”.
In fact, I thought the constant “we-they” warfare was a touch over the top. He again brought oil companies, hedge fund managers and jet owners into the conversation. He mentioned that those who have benefited the most in the past decade [a nifty wink at Dubya that even I didn’t score against him] shouldn’t be exempt from bearing part of the burden.
However underscored the class warfare argument was, it was overshadowed by some pretty strong points made by the President. I thought his best moment was when he descried the voters who elected both himself and the House Republicans into office. His comment that:
They’re offended by that.
Was especially on target and scored several points. Further, Obama was strong when he mentioned that as recently as 2000 we had budget surpluses, that we need to act in a bi-partisan manner and that both parties need to shape up. People are, after all, bone tired and are fed up with this three-ring circus.
On one hand, I’m excited that our President delivered a strong speech more leader like than I expected. I’m humbled some that I was so wrong, but that is tempered by the fact that it’s now clear Obama not only reads my little rantings, but takes them to heart!