Did president Obama’s State of the Union have a familiar ring to it? Maybe there’s a reason
Gosh, perhaps that’s why this SOTU had the lowest audience since 2000. People generally don’t tune in as often for repeats.
Over at National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg makes the point that Obama’s address should provide conservatives with a bit of reassurance.
Rather than plowing some new vista providing a view of the Liberal Promised Land, Obama’s speech was mostly a rather prosaic enumeration of penny-ante proposals that Democrats have been chirping about for years.
It’s an indication, Goldberg thinks, that liberalism might not quite be the It Girl of political philosophies, as so many analysts seem to think.
Sen. Marco Rubio hit a home run Tuesday night, but let’s face it, he fell on his face rounding the bases.
It’s been strange to me to hear the indignation in some quarters that the press is covering an obvious and glaring gaffe. Some of the same people who are uncontrollably amused by every bumbling error Joe Biden makes think somehow the MSM is responsible for Rubio’s dessicated tongue.
In case you just got back from a trip to the mountains, this is what we’re talking about:
What’s wrong with Republicans, can’t they stage manage anything anymore? Does it really take a genius to put a glass of water within reach of someone making a 15 minute speech?
Rubio’s water damage is not, as some maintain, a trivial distraction. If Ronald Reagan’s avuncular reassurance and perfect delivery was part of what made him great, then what was this?
Rubio seemed a little stiff, was plucking oddly at his face, and had this pleading, defensive quality that made me think he was going to break out in tears at any moment and wail, Republicans are not bad people, don’t you see? Were he more in command, Rubio would have at least excused himself to take a sip, not look like the artful dodger reaching over to steal an apple from the fruitstand.
Rubio blew it, turning just the type of explanation of conservative values the GOP has been longing for into a national punchline.
Because, what a speech it was. Unlike Mitt Romney, who was forever attempting to surgically attach principles onto his rhetoric to try to prove he was a severe conservative, Rubio delivered the type of remarks that can only come from the heart of someone who truly believes in the values of Goldwater and Reagan.
A couple of notable excerpts:
This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs . . .
The truth is every problem can’t be solved by government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society. And the answers to those challenges lie primarily in our families and our faiths, not our politicians . . .
More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back.
More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.
And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty . . .
Our strength has never come from the White House or the Capitol. It’s always come from our people. A people united by the American idea that, if you have a dream and you are willing to work hard, nothing should be impossible.
And finally, someone has the guts to buck the conventional wisdom and say this:
This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.
This is a Reaganesque text. It can only come from a person who understands and believes conservative thought, and who, we know, can communicate effectively when he’s not having an off night.
The excuses I’ve heard from Rubio make things worse. “It’d been a long day at work, we’d already done an 18-minute recording in Spanish,” he said.
Well, this was a critical moment for him, and for conservatives. Why didn’t he spend the day at the pool relaxing up with a frozen daiquiri? And why was he giving the speech in Spanish? This isn’t a bilingual country.
Marco Rubio is a talented and thoughtful politician, and he’ll come back from this. But he screwed up a great opportunity.
President Obama Tuesday night butted in to Marco Rubio’s Republican response to his State of the Union address, staging a conference call with supporters just as Rubio was making his remarks.
The call, organized for Obama’s millions-strong populist group Organizing for Action, was scheduled to begin right after Obama finished his address, which is when Rubio’s response began. The call kept untold numbers of Obama supporters from tuning in to the opposition.
OFA members – who formerly comprised the grassroots arm of the Obama 2012 campaign – were summoned to the call by emails from the group’s leadership. The email list is said to include more than 20 million people.
This is part of the text from one of the emails, this one sent by OFA Executive Director Jon Carson:
This Tuesday, after the President finishes delivering the State of the Union from the Capitol, he’d like to jump on the phone for a special online call with the folks building this organization.
You’re going to want to be a part of this. The call will start at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time — sign up here.
On the call, the President will talk about his plan for moving this country forward — and how you can help put his words into action.
While the opposition response does not hold quite the same status as the State of the Union itself, preempting it with a presidential event can be viewed as a classless and petty impingement on one of the year’s most important moments of civic discourse.
In this case, not only did Obama’s call draw people away from a chance to hear the Republican point of view, it helped reduce the audience for Rubio, who is viewed as one of the leading contenders to recapture the White House for Republicans.
President Obama Monday discovered money growing on trees on the South Lawn of the White House, a startling development that allowed him to propose government initiative after government initiative during his State of the Union address even as the nation heads toward piling up $17 trillion in debt. “It’s incredible,” said a tearful Senate Majority… Continue Reading
In what hopefully will be his final destructive act, rampaging and murdering ex-police Los Angeles officer Christopher Dorner is busy tonight distracting attention from President Obama’s State of the Union speech as he appears to be going down in flames in a California cabin just as Obama is about to begin speaking. If members of… Continue Reading
President Obama has a new speechwriter. I think he needs a new speechwriter. Pretty banal stuff. “It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class. It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that… Continue Reading
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will lurch for viewers’ heartstrings tonight when she brings a fourth grade girl from Newtown, Connecticut to watch the State of the Union. The fourth grader will be used as a young prop to help Democrats make the point that Congress should pass sweeping gun control legislation this year.… Continue Reading