I just watched this yesterday. I tend to be less upset about Obama or his performance. I give him a B+ to A- depending on what news I hear about MMS or the EPA this week.
Politically, it was a good speech in the fact that:
- Stopped negative “caving” beltway press narrative and gave them one liners that most of the beltway insiders enjoy like: “It’s simple math” and “Pass this bill”
- Laid out some basic, understandable policy initiatives related to things we can touch/feel/see: bridges, roads, labor, payroll tax cut, unemployment extension, etc.
- Was “a jobs plan” that makes the Republicans play on Democrats home turf (unlike the debt ceiling mess which hinged on GOP’s fraudulent deficit concerns)
- Was watched by 31m+ viewers in 23m+ households. That means a lot of people are concerned enough about the future, but still trusting of the president to listen to what he has to say. (also they aren’t wrong headed, backwards priority having jerks like me who went to get a seat at the bar at 6:50 to watch the beginning of Fantasy Football Season)
- Helped to stem liberal criticism of Obama’s priorities and Democratic criticism of Obama’s alleged neglect of the bully pulpit
- I think the president needs pass on any deficit cutting big talk. “Fully paid for” is a line he needs to give to Blue Dog, Super – Gang Members and say: this is your line. This is your point. Don’t let up. It’s fully paid for. No deficit impact. Tons of economic impact. But the deficit is not the primary problem. He needs to argue, that anyone not focusing on jobs, doesn’t really want to fix this economy.
- Is the Democratic caucus in line? We will see…but Ben Nelson and others are sure to waiver the minute Sen. Mike Lee or Rep. Jeb Hensarling or somebody talks about a kitchen table budget and belt tightening on Fox News. The president needs to get their support and they need to be aware of that early in often. (quite frankly, I believe that congressional democrats pleas to the Obama Administration to provide leadership so that they can lead are really pleas for Obama to come down to the hill and make them feel important).
- Not enough about organized labor except that they supported this bill.
I always think summers have been disastrous and the fall to Spring months have been the best times for the Democratic Party under the Obama Administration. So now is the time when for some reason, the Dems tend to get their ducks in a row.
Either way, for his administration, this is crunch time, the “4th quarter”: capital injection, job programs and state aid needs to come from the Federal Government and/or The Federal Reserve to have time to work through the economy.