Obama’s State of the Union

I'll go back to house pictures tomorrow, people. Must clean before I take pictures of the house today.

In the meantime, let's talk about Obama. Last night, I gave him a B-. After some sleep, I might bump him up to a B.

The bumbling over health care reform has really killed him. We don't have a bill and nobody knows what's in the non-existent bill. These are serious problems. I would have liked for him to clearly state last night what the key parts of the bill were for him. The line-in-the-sand issues. I wanted him to say that we must have X number of people covered by health insurance by X date or that we need to bring down costs by X amount. He never did that. 

His line that he would take proposals for reform from anybody didn't sound like he was looking for compromise. It sounded like he had no viable program of his own.

The bash-the-bankers thing was silly. He didn't mean it, and it was a diversion. Even the liberal tweeters were rolling their eyes over that stuff. 

Jobs is a bipartisan issue, and I'm glad that he brought it up. However, his reform proposals sounded weak. There is no way that clean energy is going to create enough jobs to employ the 10-17% of the unemployed.

On the other hand, he did get a bit of his mojo back. He sounded determined. It will boost his rating for a little while.

5 thoughts on “Obama’s State of the Union

  1. The bumbling over health care reform has really killed him. We don’t have a bill and nobody knows what’s in the non-existent bill.
    I think this is why the Democrats aren’t going to get much political head-way by denouncing the Republicans as obstructionist. I can’t figure out what they are obstructing, even at a high level of abstraction, and the fact that I can’t makes me assume that it will be a giant pain in the ass for little gain.
    The bash-the-bankers thing was silly. He didn’t mean it, and it was a diversion.
    I certainly won’t buy it given that he’s sticking with Bernanke and Geithner. Obama is a bit more convincing that various Republican attempts at populism, but I still want a third party.

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  2. The bumbling over health care reform has really killed him.
    I hope you’re wrong, but like many others, I fear you’re right. Talking about consensus is only good for so long; if, after a year, it is clear that consensus is not to be found–but that a majority does exist–then continuing to talk consensus instead of forcing the issues sounds weak, even a little pathetic. Tim suggested on my blog that Obama’s pragmatism is beginning to sound like an empty “frame” to him, a way Obama rhetorically situates issues, not anything that gives him a yardstick for measuring how far we wants to go, or at what point he’ll move on to a different goal. I wonder if he isn’t correct.
    One thing is increasingly clear: if health reform happens–and it still might–it’s going to be Pelosi and Reid who make it happen, not the president.

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  3. Where did the B or B- come from? You mentioned 5 points, four of which were negative and one positive (“sounded determined”). That would be a failing grade by most standards. I did not see or hear anything to get excited about, but I realize most presidents do not bowl anyone over with their SOTU addresses. I think the months leading up to November are critical for him, and I hope he comes up with something.

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  4. I would have liked for him to clearly state last night what the key parts of the bill were for him. The line-in-the-sand issues. I wanted him to say that we must have X number of people covered by health insurance by X date or that we need to bring down costs by X amount. He never did that. His concern should have been more on macro-level plans so that we would give some comments like, “we’ll try to see later if that happens”

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