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February 24, 2009

Obama's Speech

Sounds like fun.

Aides say the speech, which will have a heavy focus on the economy, will try and strike an optimistic tone. That's a sign Obama has heard the criticism, including from former President Bill Clinton, that he needs to mix sober talk with an upbeat bottom line.

"He believes we will meet these challenges and lift ourselves out of this," one top aide said of the recession. "He will say, 'The best days are ahead of us.'"

The aides said foreign policy will be touched on lightly in the speech so that the president can focus largely on the economy and related issues, including health care, education, and energy.

Aides stressed the speech will be "thematic" and thus will not get into much detail on the president's plans to deal with the credit crunch and housing crisis.

Hm. A non-detailed speech that will "try" to strike an optimistic tone?

Haven't they tried that before?

I'm glad he will attempt optimism in this speech, but I have my doubts as to whether it will work because I do not believe Barack Obama is an optimistic man at heart. Sure, he sometimes mouths optimistic platitudes, but his entire campaign was based on the assumption that something was wrong with America and only his election would heal the country. That's not optimism, it's conceit.

Since winning the presidency, Obama has flailed a bit because it's hard to run a country on the vision of not being George W. Bush. As we've seen from the market, part of the skittishness of investors is because of the doom and gloom talk on the part of this administration. We'll see if the president can change that tonight, or whether he'll just keep trying to blame the previous administration for the economy's ills.

Update - Volfan, in the comments, brings up a good point. The non-optimistic talk isn't the only thing wrong with Obama's 'cures' for the economy. It's this:

The joint address to Congress, similar to a State of the Union speech, which presidents traditionally give in subsequent years of their administration, is also Obama's first chance for a formal roll out of nuts-and-bolts policy.

He is set to address healthcare, climate change, energy and education, as he argues that the size of the crisis means his key agenda items are more, not less important than they would have been in sunny economic times.

Obama has already driven a 787-billion-dollar stimulus plan through Congress, unveiled a 275-billion-dollar foreclosure plan and tried, so far unsuccessfully, to steady the banking industry.

We have a serious economic crisis and he's being opportunistic. Is that what passes for leadership these days?

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posted by Slublog at 10:19 AM

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