I don’t know how meaningful this is, but listening to Barack Obama’s speech tonight it struck me that there were only two places where he specifically asked Congress to send him legislation. The first was a cap-and-trade plan to address global warming, and the second was the Hatch-Kennedy national service bill. On healthcare, by contrast, he merely said he would be bringing stakeholders together “to begin work on this issue next week.”
Maybe that’s significant, maybe it’s not. But I was at least a little surprised that his healthcare pitch wasn’t a bit punchier.
A few miscellaneous observations. Overall, it was a good, adult speech. The beginning was like a punch in the gut to Republican fecklessness over the past eight years, but later on Obama somehow got plenty of bipartisan standing Os anyway, even in a few places where I wouldn’t have expected it. There was some fine populist demagoguery aimed at Wall Street (“This time, CEOs won’t be able to use taxpayer money to pad their
paychecks or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet”), but it was mainly just a cover for an admission that he planned to keep shoveling money into banks. And he made it pretty clear that he would announce a withdrawal plan from Iraq within a few days.
That’s all for now. Consider this an open speech thread.