Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:16 PM
WillyT (72,631 posts)
Obama Should Use Fighting Words In The 2012 State Of The Union - Michael Tomasky/TheDailyBeast
Obama Should Use Fighting Words in the 2012 State of the Union
by Michael Tomasky - TheDailyBeast
Jan 24, 2012 4:45 AM EST
This is not the year to roll out a dozen policy initiatives, Clinton style. We all know that he’ll go one for 12, getting the Republicans to agree to vote for the least important of the 12, which they’ll do just so they can say they behaved in a bipartisan fashion. In other words, it’s not the year to give a presidential speech, communicating to the American people and legislators of the other party that there are great goals to be jointly accomplished in behalf of the people. Bullshit. There’s one goal: get reelected. Everyone knows this. Comport yourself accordingly, or you look weak and naive. Especially at a moment when buckets of blood are swirling in the roiled Republican waters. Loose the sharks.
Obama should—without mentioning them by name—take a couple of whacks at Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. This is a time, with Romney on the ropes and the leading GOP candidate (Gingrich) “enjoying” a roughly -35 point approval-to-disapproval rating, to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Play some head games. Have some fun. Do—if I may—some dozens. Not “your mama is so fat” dozens, obviously. But talk some smack. Drop in one or two that the Republicans will attack as undignified to the occasion. Put them on the defensive, make them sound whiny. Trust me, David Plouffe: independents will like it. They sure didn’t like what you wanted to do last summer (capitulate).
Beyond this, Obama should speak only in broad themes, and that theme is the one I stated at the end of the first paragraph. Middle class, middle class, middle class. And use the wedge. I am for you; they are against you. This speech should be so obvious that if anyone with an IQ higher than 85 is asked tomorrow, “So, what did the president say last night,” the person will say: “He said he was on the side of the middle class.” It would be nice if the person remembered “and the Republicans are for the rich,” but the first sentence will do.
That’s it, and that’s all. But it’s a tall order for a SOTU. It means that Obama—and, crucially, the people around him—have to view this speech differently from most SOTUs. Usually, a SOTU is little more than a kind of competition among agencies to see who can get a pet program mentioned. The lobbying, I kid you not, goes on all year. EPA, Department of Labor, you name it ... they’re all straining to be mentioned or have one of their key initiatives mentioned. It can invigorate them for months. But tonight, Obama needs to be remorseless about not throwing out any bureaucratic bones. If it fits the theme, fine. If it doesn’t, wait till next year, pal.
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Obama Should Use Fighting Words In The 2012 State Of The Union - Michael Tomasky/TheDailyBeast (Original post)
Response to WillyT (Original post)
Tue Jan 24, 2012, 07:24 PM
gateley (62,453 posts)
1. Good advice, IMO. And get a couple of zingy sound bites in there -- as someone said
today, he gave a great speech but not all that memorable, people weren't quoting from it (like, for example Biden's Giuliani noun/verb/9-11 gem).