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January 28, 2010

The SOTUS that wasn't

Topics: Political News and commentaries

I have to admit that I fell asleep about three-fourths of the way through Obama's 70 minute speech last night, so my comments on his speech are limited to the time I was able to stay awake. As for what I did hear, I give him an "A" on speech-giving, an "A+" on chutzpah, an "F" on non-partisanship (it was hyper-partisan), and an "F" on substance (there was none). And it is glaringly clear that he learned absolutely nothing from the Democrats' disaster in Massachusetts. In a nutshell, it was a hyper-partisan campaign speech of no real substance that was anything but presidential; it was not a SOTUS.

However. don't take just my word; here is a brief roundup of comments on the president's speech from my fellow bloggers and a couple of political pundits:

Jules Crittenden: "... we have just witnessed an extraordinary exercise in presidential oratorical animation that may be without peer or precedent. Can it be said that any American president has ever tried to blame so much on other people, or has been willing to so rapidly abandon his own principles for the betterment of his standing with the people, to seize up the banner against himself in our nation's time of need, that this nation should not stand against him? For this, the president deserves our unabashed, gaga-eyed astonishment."

Hugh Hewitt: ""The low point of the president's speech was this absurd trIple play of trash talking dismissiveness of the counterproposals of an entire year's debate (followed closely by his deficit history lesson). The GOP's response should be: "There can be no health care reform without tort reform. When and if the Democrats will put real and comprehensive tort reform on the table, then we will know they have abandoned calling special interest giveaways "reform," and are genuinely interested in fixing health care.""

Dan Riehl: "Like a would be leader hunting an FDR moment, Obama mostly walked through over an hour long speech, interrupted by only muted applause - looking like a man shooting blanks while seeking out Big Game. His something for everyone approach, reminiscent of his campaign, didn't really match up to the facts on the ground as evidenced by his completely partisan and ultimately divisive policies and initiatives."

Jeff Anderson: "The takeaway from President Obama's State of the Union address is that the disconnect between the president and the American people has never been clearer. ... As the cameras panned to skeptical or incredulous members of Congress (and not just Republicans), the president blamed nearly everyone and everything for the failure of his agenda to date -- everything, that is, except for the substance of his policies."

Mike's America: "Wednesday night people across the nation tuned in to watch the State of the Union speech to see if President Obama heard the message from Massachusetts voters. Like me, many were disappointed. It was more of the same empty promises, angry rhetoric, partisan jibes and blame it all on Bush."

Brian Darling: "... he is walled off from reality in the White House and he has absolutely no clue what average Americans are feeling these days. Clearly, after stunning losses in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts over the past few months, this Administration was sent a message from the American people that they are mad at President Obama's big government policies. He did not hear that message and he told them last night that he is pushing forward with ObamaCare and other big government ideas. They don't want it."

Marc Thiessen: "The speech began with an elegant and elevated opening, but quickly descended into scolding and condescension. ... It was quite possibly the most partisan, condescending State of the Union address ever. Tonight, Obama was unpresidential. The permanent campaign continues. In the long run it will backfire."

Dan Flynn: "The speech's Rosetta Stone phrase: Americans "don't understand why.... Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems." For Ronald Reagan, government was the problem; for Barack Obama, government is the solution. The message of Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts was clearly lost on the president. Caution: Iceberg ahead!"

Fred Barnes: "... Obama delivered the least fresh State of the Union address I've ever heard, and I've heard more than 30 of them. It was filled with old ideas, campaign cliches, and frequent use of personal pronoun, "I." That's the Obama pattern. ... The chief takeaway from 70 minutes of presidential oratory was that Obama doesn't intend to move to the center. Should we have been surprised? Not at all. Obama is no Bill Clinton. He's an ideologically committed liberal."

Peter Robinson: "While offering up such stale, unimaginative policy proposals that liberals could only have moaned and gnashed their teeth, Obama adopted a tone of such petulance, peevishness and condescension that independents could only have recoiled. ... Not a single memorable phrase. Not a single image of real freshness or beauty. Just a ponderous, self-indulgent, long-winded botch."

Jennifer Rubin: "Obama was in campaign mode last night. It's not fair to single out last night. He's always in campaign mode because he doesn't spend time thinking about how to solve policy questions, just political ones. ... Obama has never divested himself of the habit of blaming others and making up "facts." He unfortunately fails to see that the well of presidential credibility is not bottomless, that we expect our presidents to rise above the fray, and that if you keep telling the public things they know aren't so, they will eventually tune you out, no matter what pearls of wisdom you impart."

And from the man whose opinion I value the most, Charles Krauthammer:

Our take home message here is clear. Our self-serving, narcissistic, condescending, hyper-partisan, detached-from-reality, far-left president gave a campaign speech last night and remains self-serving, narcissistic, hyper-partisan, detached-from-reality, condescending, far-left and in campaign mode. Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed.

Related: Beyond the Whining, What Did the President Propose?

H/t to Howie, who has a caption contest going on.

Posted by Abdul at January 28, 2010 7:35 AM

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