To give you an idea of how hollow President Obama’s speech was, networks bailed on it after just a few minutes.
That tells you all you need to know about it.
Expectations had been high. Fox anchor Megyn Kelly began by saying: “A huge hour in the 2012 race for the White House as we witness dueling speeches in a key battleground state by the president and the man who wants to replace him.” Well, that “huge hour” turned out to be a measly ten minutes.
And, Obama’s big speech was undercut by Romney, who was supposed to start his five minutes after the president started his, but ended up starting and finishing before Obama even reached the podium. Time management is not one of Obama’s fortes. Drudge reports there were even Romney buses circling the speech cite and honking horns. This shows the determination on the Romney team not to let Obama upstage them, but to do unto him as he does unto them.
Actually, Romney’s speech showed some flair and passion. He specified the programs Obama tried and failed – stimulus, health care, jobs, Dodd-Frank.
Obama began his speech talking about “the controversy that keeps both campaigns busy and gives the press something to write about. You may have heard I recently made my own unique contribution to that process. (A few nervous snickers.) It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.”
That seemed a bit odd. I guess he referred to his comment about the private sector doing fine. He had that same smug look, with his habit of turning his head side to side as he delivers a speech in his peculiar cadence.
“There is one area where my opponent and I stand in complete agreement. This election is about the future.” He dismissed foreign policy and social matters to talk about two visions of “how to create strong, sustained growth; how to pay down our long term debt; how to generate good, middle class jobs so that people can have confidence that if they work hard they can get ahead.” Obama paused and there was tepid response from the audience.
Maybe that’s because he’s already had 3 1/2 years to try that, plus an earlier two as a U.S. senator. There has been little growth and an escalation of debt from spending. As for good middle class jobs, those will come after big companies decide they need to enlarge, not because we need more piddling government bureaucratic ones. And isn’t this the guy who’s going to Sarah Jessica Parker’s swank Manhattan party tonight with the swells to raise more money for himself?
“I have said this is the defining issue of our time and I mean it.” I can take that several ways and one of them is that you want – as you yourself said, Mr. president – to “fundamentally transform” America. He continued. “This is a make or break moment for America’s middle class.” Also true, but probably not in the way he means. If anything, he’s the one aiming to move the middle class down a notch.
We all know that the “decisions we make now will have an enormous influence on our country.” So where’s the beef? Where’s the plan? Not in this speech.
“What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington.” Yes, we’ve heard you try that ploy before in your tepid “We Can’t Wait” campaign that fell flat. Interestingly, a lot in the audience were not clapping.
He pursed his lips and went on with this flabby speech.
“For more than a decade it had become harder to find a job to pay the bills.” So we’re back in the Bush blame game already. Funny, I remember a quarter of 7.8% GDP growth and times of a small 5% unemployment. Is that what he’s referring to, because I’d trade it for what we have now.
“Hard to save. Harder to retire. Hard to keep up with rising costs of gas, health care and college tuitions.” Wasn’t he the candidate who said under his administration energy costs “would necessarily skyrocket”? Isn’t he the one with a Democrat majority who pushed the Affordable Care Act through which we will now see begin to increase our medical costs? As for tuitions, hasn’t the government inflated them over decades of Democrat planning so that the government ends up giving grants that encourage colleges to up their fees? This speech is a joke.
“We were told that huge tax cuts, particularly for wealthy Americans would lead to job growth.” (It did.) “We were told that fewer regulations especially for big financial institutions, corporations (you mean like your friends at GE and Warren Buffett who pay almost no taxes) would bring about widespread prosperity (it did for your friends like Jon Corzine).
“We were told it was OK to put two wars on the nation’s credit cards.” Well, yes, since Democrats had weakened our Defense Department to the point they were unable to scramble weaponry together when 9/11 hit. “That tax cuts would create enough growth to care for themselves.” If you don’t believe it, then why did you refuse to cut them back in the lame duck session of 2010 when they were about to expire and Democrats ruled Washington?
Then he went on to reopen his class warfare argument. It was a big yawn of the same old tired clap trap he’s talked about before, so that’s when the networks decided to bug out. All except MSNBC, it seems, because they are devoted to him.
In the end, if he’s not up for the job – which is what he clearly is telegraphing – time to get out of the game. If you can’t do it, Mr. Obama, please make way for someone who can.
Amusingly, David Axelrod was going to handle after the speech Twitter for him. Maybe Axelrod needs to take the stage.
The “huge hour” fizzled like Kim Kardashian’s marriage. All hype, nothing there. Best to slink over to Sarah Jessica’s and share a cosmopolitan with Anna Wintour.