President Obama delivered what I thought was a masterful speech last night, to a joint sitting of the Congress.
After he got going, Democrats and Republicans alike, gave applause, at many points thoughout the address. This is a very good thing and it shows that he has been doing more than just listening to the Republicans. I hope it doesn’t mean that he has learned how to say things that bring them in, and then not follow through.
Apart from two items at the beginning, I thought the speech was excellent. Perhaps he was nervous and need to warm up first.
The two things I thought he could have done much better on were
1. the negative tone at the beginning; and
2. blaming other people for the mess “we inherited”
President Obama has not yet learned to be more upbeat. People bashed President Bush, for his always upbeat assessments. There has to be a balance and 300 million people have to feel that the President is in control. Even more so now, in the midst of major problems and with the whole world taking notice. There is no need to drag us down into the depths at the start of every speech.
Regarding the “inherited mess.” The President appears to have forgotten that he was a US Senator. The people standing directly behind him were in the House and Senate and in control since 2007. The three of them were three of the people who helped caused the mess. The “we’re clean and the other guys are dirty” blame game has to stop. The only people who believe that are the ones who haven’t been paying attention for the past 30 years.
Mistakes were made all round and obviously what happened was unintended, but The President, The Vice President and The Speaker bear as much responsibility as anyone.
The President, Vice President and Speaker need to work on fixing this now and stop pointing fingers back. The President has promised more than once that he would not keep looking back, but he is still doing it.
As President, Obama has a different responsibility now. He is no longer a State Senator who can complain about the government, pushing the blame elsewhere and washing his hands of it. He IS the government. All of us out here are relying on him to guide the ship of state back into running order again, and as he told us last night, in better shape than it was before.
The President is not the most blameless of all, he bears some responsibility for the situation, but it doesn’t matter right now. What does matter is to recognize all the causes and do things differently so the people and the nation can prosper.
President Obama is a very smart man. I know he can do this. Like it or not, he is now “The Decider.”
The very next thing I’d like him to decide is to look in the mirror on the wall and realise he can never again say “the crisis we inherited.”
That said, I think it was a very good address. What we need to see now is action that doesn’t result in another dip in the stock market – my retirement is in there.