Washington Post: Obama's State of the Union address takes a harder tone

One year had taken him from a self-professed unifier to a historically divisive president; from the man selected to solve the country’s problems to the person often disparaged as their cause. He squinted against the lights and stared hard at the audience for his first State of the Union address, looking a little grayer, a little older than when he assessed the country in the same venue last February. A circus of cameras and power brokers stirred around him, yet he stood alone at a single microphone, quieting the crowd with a series of somber nods.

It had been, Obama told the audience, “one of the most difficult years in our history” — and it had been one of his most difficult years, too.

The president had plenty of reasons to be frustrated Wednesday night, and he channeled all of them during his 71 minutes at the podium. The poker player so often lauded for his evenness was instead pleading and persistent, frank and angry. His words as much as his body language suggested a shift, that this was the time not only to address the populist aggravation but to make it his own. He pressed his forefinger against his thumb and made jabs at the air to accentuate his points. He told the crowd that he “hated” the bank bailout, that he wanted the government to match the public’s “decency,” that he was tired of “the numbing weight of our politics.”

“How long should we wait?” he asked. “How long should America put its future on hold?”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

7 comments on “Washington Post: Obama's State of the Union address takes a harder tone

  1. Kendall Harmon says:

    Local Paper front page Headline: “Obama Digs In on key Issues”

  2. William P. Sulik says:

    “… a historically divisive president.”

    This is an accurate summary – I think his problem is that he was never a “community organizer” in the true sense of the phrase – he was (and is) an Alinsky agitator. He needs someone to rail against – last night it was Bush, the Republicans, the banks, and the Supreme Court. (The last is particularly laughable to me – Obama did more to destroy campaign finance reform than anyone when he vitiated the agreement and took unlimited, unverified contributions – including substantial contributions from overseas – and he demagogues the Supreme Court for saying the First Amendment means what it says?)

  3. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Well, it’s all good news. Obama doesn’t get it. A goodly number of the congressmen don’t get it. This is setting up for a replay of 1994 and that will be a relief for everyone else. If we can just hang on until then…

    I despise the Republicrats for what they did to the conservative movement under GWB, but I loath the socialists in charge right now. I don’t think I am alone.

    If the Republicrats pay attention and swing back toward actually being conservatives…drop all the RINOs and get rid of the “rats” at the end of their name, they might just make a come back. If not, it is time for a third party…the Conservative Party, to take the reins and fix the damage that has been done. If that happens, we may end up with a new currency, controlled borders, frugal government, decentralized power, real security, and an end to NAFTA and GATT that will restore the US manufacturing base. It’s about time that Americans abandon the globalist agenda and stand for America first.

  4. Dave B says:

    William P. Sulik wrote:“… a historically divisive president..”Well it appears to me that he has found the perfect political opponents..Congress, The Supreme Court and his own administration!

  5. ORNurseDude says:

    I don’t know why things still shock me – but they do; and last night was no exception. I truly was expecting a bit more of a conciliatory demeanor and tone from BHO, which of course failed to materialize. What really chapped me, however, was (1) the extent to which he used the State of the Union address as little more than a [i]platform[/i] to lecture the other branches of government as well as the American people; and (2) I was both chapped and flabbergasted that he would slam SCOTUS decision last week re: corporate AND union contributions to political compaigns. Given (a) the amount of face time the unions are getting with BHO (especially compare to the inability of Republican legislators to get [i]any[/i] – not to mention (b) BHO’s exempting the [i] union[/1] cadillac insurance plans from taxation in the healthcare reform legislation, gives his self-righteous indignation somewhat of a hollow ring. That he would upbraid SCOTUS vis-a-vis this decision, while the entire Court is assembled in the front row for the State of the Union (subsequently prompting a standing ‘O’), is probably one of the most crass things I’ve seen a president do – and only reinforces just how ill-prepared he is to be president. God help us all. [/i]

  6. ORNurseDude says:

    Sorry for failing to close the italics tags in #5 above.

    [i] Fixed. [/i]

  7. David Hein says:

    No. 4 “he has found the perfect political opponents..Congress, The Supreme Court and his own administration!”

    Yes–even Bob Schieffer, a pretty liberal commentator, said that last night Obama seemed to be “running against himself.”