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Tag Archives: State of the Union 2013

Obama SOTU: Rinse, Wash, Repeat

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.

H/T to Heritage’s blog The Foundry, which produced the video and to Townhall, where I found it.

Yes, Rubio Blew It

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.

There will, however, be others.

Obama Preempts Rubio SOTU Response

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.

H/T to Boker Tov, Boulder!

Obama Discovers Money Growing on Trees

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 Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “The White House informed us just this morning. Money really does grow on trees. Now we can spend it forever.”

Obama escorts Democrats to the South Lawn to view the money trees.
Obama escorts Democrats to the South Lawn Tuesday morning to view the money trees.

A senior White House official said Obama was on his daily walk across the South Lawn Monday morning searching for four leaf clovers when he discovered money growing on several ancient magnolia trees. The trees had been planted by Woodrow Wilson, who is credited by some with launching the modern welfare state. Now, the trees have finally borne fruit.

White House aides said the discovery that money grows on trees is at the root, so to speak, of Obama decision to include in the State of the Union a litany of new government programs while outlining hardly any specific ideas about how to cut spending.

The trees sprout $100,000 bills, which coincidentally include a portrait of President Wilson. White House economic advisers were seen by tourists picking currency all day Monday and Tuesday. Bills magically grew back on branches within seconds of being plucked.

A tourist who jumped the White House gate offering to “help out” was run down by a Secret Service-trained German Shepherd and taken away in handcuffs.

White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling was taken to George Washington University Hospital after taking a fall off a ladder while trying to reach one of the higher branches. “We’re still going to raise taxes,” he mumbled as he was placed into an ambulance. Sperling suffered only a bruised ego and was expected to make a full recovery.

Spurred by his historic horticultural discovery, Obama in his speech offered up all manner of new fiscal commitments.

He proposed public-private “manufacturing hubs;” an “Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good;” funding for research on cleaner-burning natural gas; federal support for energy efficient buildings; massive infrastructure spending; money for preschool education for every child in America; funding for high schools that focus on science and math; spending on scientific research; funding to rebuild vacant homes in rundown neighborhoods; “resources” for publics safety, eduction and housing in struggling communities; and tax credits for businesses that hire there.

And those are just the proposals that made it into the speech.

“Most Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents,” Obama said, “understand that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.”

Internal polling by White House political aides identified these same Americans as the ones who believe that money grow on trees.

Turns out they were right.

Dorner Screws Up Obama’s Big Moment

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 Congress on TV seem to be looking at their electronics, you can be sure they are trying to view a drama more compelling than the one they are attending.

As of this writing, the cabin where Dorner seemed to be holed up has burned to the ground, and it doesn’t appear anyone came out. Which means we will spend the night waiting to see if they find his charred remains, which they won’t be able to immediately identify.

That is, this drama probably will continue throughout the president’s speech. The networks may even run with a split screen that shows the Dorner thing playing out on one side while the Obama thing plays out on the other.

White House Releases SOTU Excerpts

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 if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.”

“A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”

“Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”

White House Releases First Lady’s Box Guests

This is who the White House has chosen to sit in the first lady’s box. It will give you some idea of where President Obama’s focus will be during the speech. If you want more details on the guests you can download the White House release here.

This is the list:

Dr. Jill Biden

Valerie Jarrett (of course)

Sergeant Sheena Adams of Vista, California; Team Advisor & Lead Instructor, Female Engagement Team

Alan Aleman of Las Vegas, Nevada, a “DREAM Student”  who is an illegal immigrant from Mexico City;

Jack Andraka of Crownsvill, Maryland; Winner of the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Susan Bumgartner of Norman, Oklahoma; Early childhood educator

Deb Carey of New Glarus, Wisconsin; New Glarus Brewing Company

Sergeant Carlos Evans of Cameron, North Carolina, USMC; Wounded warrior

Tim Cook of Cupertino, California; CEO of Apple

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr. of Chicago; parents of Hadiya Pendleton, who participated in President Obama’s Inaugural celebration and was murdered by gnshot soon afterward.

Menchu de Luna Sanchez of Secaucus, New Jersey; registered nurse who saved children during Hurricane Sandy

Bobak Ferdowsi of Pasadena, California; Flight director, Mars Curiosity Rover

Bradley Henning of Louisville, Kentucky; Machinist, Atlas Machine and Supply

Tracey Hepner of Arlington, Virginia; Co-founder of Military Partners and Families Coalition

Peter Hudson of Evergreen, Colorado; Co-founder and CEO of iTriage, a company attempting to create “efficiencies within the healthcare delivery system.”

Gov. John Kitzhaber, (D-Oregon); “Has built on his experience as a former emergency room doctor to transform health care delivery in Oregon.”

Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers of Avondale, Arizona; “Growing up in migrant farm labor camps and picking cotton alongside her parents in fields where her City Hall now stands, Mayor Rogers never imagined that she would be guiding the transformation of the region.”

Amanda McMillan of Jackson, Mississippi; Pay discrimination victim

Lee Maxwell of Wilton, Iowa; Graduate, Kirkwood Community College Wind Technician Program

Lieutenant Brain Murphy of Oak Creek, Wisconsin; First police officer to arrive at the scene of the Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin last August.

Lisa Richards of Arlington, Virginia; “A single mom, was one of thousands of Americans who shared stories about what paying $2,200 more in taxes would mean for her family.”

Kaitlin Roig of Greenwich, Connecticut; Has taught first grade for six years at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Abby Schanfield of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Beneficiary of Obamacare

Haile Thomas of Tucson, Arizona; “Let’s Move” champion

Desiline Victor of Miami, Florida; a 100 year old naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti and retired farmworker who stood in line three hours to vote.

Pelosi to Use Fourth Grader as Prop at SOTU for Gun Control

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