"If we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis; if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity; if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then someday years from now our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, "something worthy to be remembered."--President Obama
Listen up. The daddy is going to depart from the Black History Month series for a moment to respond briefly to the e-mails asking him about his thoughts about President Obama's first State of the Union speech?
Overall analysis of the speech?
First, it was not a State of the Union Address so much as a State of Psyhche speech. If the state of the psyche is bad, no recitation of state affairs in detail is worth noting. A pep talk may be overdue.
It was a populist speech, acknowledging America's anger at banks for taking our tax dollars and taking it to fancy hotels to party all night long and get massages and pedicures the next day and promising to do something about it.
It was a good speech but not one of his better one. For example, it did not come close to the eloquence of his speech in accepting the democratic selection as President nominee for President of the United States. Nor did it contain a lot of details.
This speech was good, because it accomplished three things: It promoted the stimulus plan, highlighted where his administration wants to go in the next four years, and it introduced a new tone in dealing with a troubled economy. President Obama said he wants to end the Iraq war. He wants to bring our soldiers. He said he wants to focus on energy, education and healthcare reform. And he said with conviction that he believed the economy will turn around.
The most important thing about the speech?
1. It was a left-of-center speech by America's standard (out of Iraq, education and healthcare reform) talking about meeting goals that are true to campaign promises. The speech showed a sense of consistency in the Obama administration even as it seeks to deal with a bad economy.
2. It represented a change in tone that American and the economic market need at this time. The speech was more upbeat and ended with stirring and convincing words by the President Obama that the U.S. economy will recover.
Purpose of the speech
This gets to the heart of why the speech was good. It was good not because of its level of details, eloquence, or necessarily believability that its ambitious goals can be achieved, or achieved anytime soon. Its real purpose was to communicate to the American people and the market: to educating them about the economy, to provide them an outline of where his administration is going, and to express confidence that the economy will turn around.
Regardless of what obstructionist Republicans think or doubting democrats believe, this speech gave America what it needs: A sense that all is not lost, that American can indeed recover.