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« Breaking: 8.1% UE | Main | The Matthews Method »
September 07, 2012


Mitt Romney helpfully runs down all the pundits running down Obomba's gruesomely bad speech.

Even Ezra Klein noticed Obomba entirely avoided the jobs crisis.


Barack Obama is deeply overexposed and often boring. He never seems to be saying what he's thinking. His speech Thursday was weirdly anticlimactic. There's too much buildup, the crowd was tired, it all felt flat. He was somber, and his message was essentially banal: We've done better than you think. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

There were many straw men. There were phrases like "the shadow of a shuttered steel mill," which he considers writerly. But they sound empty and practiced now, like something you've heard in a commercial or an advertising campaign.

It was stale and empty. He's out of juice.

I think she's spot on with that "which he considers writerly." This was one of the many problems I pegged with the speech: A good speech, like good makeup, seems natural. Like you're just talking. So the craft of it becomes invisible. If the craft -- or in this case, the contrivance-- becomes visible, then you're aware you're the target of a manipulation, and your bullshit repellant kicks on and you resist it.

Now Clinton wrote the hell out of his speech, but wrote it so it seemed like it hadn't been written.

Obama grabs at poetry -- he fancies himself a rara avis, you know -- but he's a bad writer. It's one of his many bad talents. Remember, he wrote of apes crunching figs in grottoes.

Wolf Blitzer: Gee, I was told to expect more specifics.

Now, I used the words "brazenly empty." Krauthammer pretty much nails it here ( video at the link).

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I was stunned. This is a man who gave one of the great speeches of our time in 2004, and he gave one of the emptiest speeches I have ever heard on a national stage. Yes, it had cadence, and yes, there were deceptions in it, but that is not what is so striking about it. There was nothing in it. This is a man who believes that government can and should do a lot. There is nothing in here that tells us how he's going to go from today to tomorrow. For any of the so called goals and what government is going to do, what is he going to enact?

At least Romney had a five point plan. What we heard from Obama was a vision. And he pulls numbers out of a hat. 100,000 new math and science teachers. 600,000 more people working in natural gas. Two million more trainees, and he doesn't say how we get from A to B. It's a vision. I have a vision of an America where there is no disease and everybody has a private airplane, but unless I tell you how we get there, I’ve said nothing. And what is so surprising, is that - all he had left - he can't speak about his record on the economy, and it's not a good one. As we heard, he didn't speak about achievements, the one that's liberals like, ObamaCare, stimulus and etc… they're unpopular.

So, at least he would talk about the future, what he's going to to. There was nothing there. I’m amazed that he was -- it was like this is a guy who is the A student in the class turning in a paper clearly a C, and the teacher is astonished and says, “How could you do this? Why did you mail it in?” I felt the Biden speech was infinitely better, because it was empathic and carried a message, but the Obama speech, I thought was flat and had no content in it. Otherwise, I loved it, really…

But you know who loved it...? Of course you do. Now, MSNBC got the Word of God that apparently Obama's running as a Foreign Policy President now, and that they're to talk up Afghanistan constantly.

Which they dutifully did. This was the first time they mentioned Afghanistan since December 2008, and baby, did they make up for lost time.

After pretending they liked it -- and making excuses about why people might not like it more (that darned cynicism getting to people!) -- they stopped talking about it after about 20 minutes and just started talking about Romney. And specifically talking and talking and talking about why Romney said nothing about Afghanistan (something Obama almost never talks about, but he chose to discuss it in his speech, so now that's what we all have to discuss, I guess).

So, they stopped talking about it. It was a distasteful subject, ash in their mouths. Even Lawrence O'Donnell conceded, understatedly, it was not among Obama's better speeches.

But Maddow, and especially Chris Matthews, just loved it!

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I think tonight he did it again, didn't he? (crowd cheers and applauds) But more than that, the profound thing he accomplished tonight - the President - was to turn the whole table on those who thought that the incumbency would be a problem, and the challenger would have it easy. Story Continues Below Ad ↓

He – the most powerful statement tonight he made is, I am the President. (crowd cheers and applauds) I am the President, and you're not, and I've had to do the tough things of leading this country, and you haven't, and you don't have a clue about foreign policy. It's all new to you, and you think all we have to do is take two tax cuts to solve our common cold because you don't have a clue as to how to solve this country's challenges. It was a profound statement of, I've got the best position in this country and in this race, because I am doing the job and you're just twiddling your fingers, thinking about what it might be like to be President. And that is huge, because we all thought the problem was defending the way things are, and he's made the opponents defend the fact they don't know what's going on, and that's the big development in that speech. What a home run that was. (crowd cheers and applauds)

Chris Matthews is praising something external to the speech-- Obama's an incumbent. Yes, we know, Chris. Your choice of discussing this external fact -- which has been true now for over 3 1/2 years -- demonstrates your aversion to discussing the night's actual news, to wit, Obama bombed.

Vid via @rdbrewer4.

digg this
posted by Ace at 09:40 AM

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