…at 11 AM. The conversation is ostensibly about the SotU, but I tend to ramble all over the rhetorical landscape when I’m not being actively prodded back into line. Then again, I plan to be at least a little sarcastic on the way that you still can’t trust the White House staff to get even the most elementary details right…
One liberal trope after the speech, voiced by Chrystia Freedland of the Financial Times on Charlie Rose, is that Obama is putting Republican politicians on notice he will go after them as the do-nothing impeders of progress.
Obama Selling a New Deal, but Promising It Will Be Brief
It was only 13 years ago that Bill Clinton declared before a joint session of Congress that “the era of big government is over.” President Obama’s challenge on Tuesday night is to declare that, out of ugly necessity, big government is back — and then to make a persuasive case, with a specificity he has avoided until now, that if done right, this era will not last for long.
His aides say this is no moment for the lofty idealism of the inaugural address, 35 long days and roughly a thousand Dow Jones points ago. His task is to be at once reassuring and realistic, or, as one of Mr. Obama’s economic advisers said over the weekend, “to convince the country we’ve finally pulled the ripcord on the parachute, even if we can’t tell you how long we fall or where we land.”
The hardest part will be convincing his countrymen that they cannot save themselves without first saving the banks that let greed blot out prudence, the carmakers who ignored competitive reality for a quarter-century, and the homeowners who somehow persuaded themselves that housing prices only move up.