“An Economy That’s Built to Last”
President Obama delivered one Hell of a State of the Union speech tonight, and “an economy that’s built to last” was the best soundbite I’ve heard in eons.
Tonight’s speech was as rousing and as articulate as any speech I can remember. If it’s true that President Obama is better at speaking and campaigning than he is at leading and standing up to Republicans, then the solution is to spend more time at the bully pulpit. Take these issues directly to The People while Congress just sits there playing with themselves.
His speech had that perfect combination of being unifying, upbeat, reaching out to everybody — and being firm at the same time:
“The state of our union is getting stronger, and we've come too far to turn back now. As long as I'm president, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.”
I forget who the commentators were after the SOTU speech, but they made the point that the more positive, upbeat, optimistic candidate usually wins the presidency. Populism can be very infectious and unifying, but the speaker has to be careful not to sound too negative or resentful. And then one of them described Obama’s speech as “optimistic populism.”
I like it.
And then, right on cue, Mitch Daniels delivered the Republican response. In contrast to Obama’s hope and optimism, Mitch Daniels’ speech was basically:
“Boohoohooohooooooohooooooo” “Waaaaaaaahhhhhh” “It’s just awful” “We’re sinking!!!”
Way to go. May the more positive optimistic party win the White House.