Thursday, January 28, 2010

SOTU: The day after (with video)

"Markos reviews State of the Union" Jed Lewison (Daily Kos), video (05:02):
Markos discusses President Obama's State of the Union address with Keith Olbermann, saying the speech was "very, very strong" on specifics, including on clean energy, don't ask, don't tell, and expanded assistance for student loan programs.
"A Bid to Recapture the Magic, and a Dose of Reality" (Peter Baker-NY Times)":
By now, President Obama can hardly be under any illusions about the depth of the partisan divide as he seeks to reboot his presidency. Yet he still seemed surprised on Wednesday night when he could not get Republicans to applaud tax cuts.

As he boasted in his first State of the Union address that his economic program had cut taxes for 95 percent of working families, Democrats jumped to their feet to cheer. Republicans sat quietly. Mr. Obama paused as he glanced over to their side of the House chamber. “I thought I’d get some applause on that one,” he said.

If Mr. Obama thought he could take the rostrum in the House chamber and restore his image as the change agent who came to Washington to end the politics of division, he received another reminder just how hard that will be. Mr. Obama tried to recapture the magic of his yes-we-can campaign after a season of no-we-can’t governing, but conceded little if any ground to critics on either the right or the left.
"State of health reform: Still grim" (Politico):
With Democrats in Congress looking for a way out of the health care impasse, President Barack Obama offered them words of encouragement but little else —no concrete plan to jump-start progress on a bill, no timeline for getting it done and no guidance on what he wants to see in what was once his top legislative initiative.
Greg Sargent:
In retrospect, I think this line from Obama on health care was important: “As temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we’ve proposed.” That was followed by this exhortation to Congress: “Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job.”

Taken together, one way to read those lines is as a signal that Obama does want the House to pass the Senate bill, with a reconciliation fix if necessary. After all, he’s essentially telling Congress to move the plan already on the table. It’s too subtle, perhaps, but he did offer Congress a bit more direction than I’d first thought. Right?
Howie P.S.: Arianna has a bone to pick: ""Obama Did Not Make Middle Class The Priority In State Of The Union Speech," with video. More punditry worth reading: "Reality check: Obama gropes for a strategy"(John F. Harris-Politico). Andrew @ the NPI Advocate turns in "President Obama delivers another eloquent call to action... but will there be any action?" Good question.

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