Friday, January 29, 2010

State of the Union fails to inspire

Deadlines have kept me away from the blog for a couple of days, but President Barack Obama's State of the Union address the other night certainly remains a topic of conversation, heated debate and even consternation.

Reading through the scattered notes I scribbled down during the speech, a couple of points stick out -- jobs, jobs, jobs and public trust. The following quote certainly highlights one of the messages the White House clearly wanted to send to a country that remains extremely distrustful of its political establishment.

"They [the American people] are tired of the partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness," the president said.

The speech was a supermarket of hopeful and idealistic rhetoric, promises and even lecturing as one commentator correctly pointed out, but one of the primary takeaways from Wednesday night is the fact the president sought to reconnect with the American middle class that continued to experience significant economic hardships during the first year of his administration. A gay Republican contact described the speech as a reflection of a "desperate president." He and many others obviously made up their minds long before Obama delivered his first SOTU, but the president certainly appeared quite vulnerable in the days leading up to it. And the speech did painfully little to inspire an increasingly skeptical public to feel hopeful about the White House and its agenda.

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