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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Threading the Pin?

Don't win a lot of bets underestimating Obama's ability to deliver a big speech. Still, I'm thinking that tonight may be the night he finally comes up short. So I'm taking the "under" expectations bet. This is not all his fault. I just think he may have to thread a needle that cannot be threaded. No matter which way he goes--and I'm thinking he'll go a little soft on the public option--he's going to piss a lot of people off. And that's mostly what the media wants to report anyway. Think about MoDo's NYT column today, which repeats the bizarre theme that Obama has been AWOL from the health care debate for a month and hasn't spoken up against GOP looniness. Excuse me? But that's the point. There is no eye in this needle.


At 9:17 PM, Blogger fronesis said...

I totally get the logic in your post - it make sense.

And I didn't see the speech.

But I just read the transcript.

And I thought it was absolutely brilliant and well above expectations.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

As Wesley Snipes said, "Always bet on black!" Yeah, Obama came through tonight.

A couple of knife points he walked impressively: looking "bipartisan" while blasting the nutjob tactics of the GOP; and hyping the public option while also signaling a willingness to sell it out. How do you look magnanimous while waging a street fight? Damned if he didn't seem to pull that off. And the end of the speech ("character") was pure brilliance.

Now, what political effect will it have? May change the media narrative for a few days. May shame a few shaky Dems back into line. May get Snowe to edge a little closer. May get nothing except for symbolism: Obama's ability to claim credit when what was already going to get passed now gets passed.

Lesson: never doubt Obama's abilitiy to pull a big (even impossible) speech out of his ass.

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Gina said...

Obama's been on a roll all week long in the oratory department--a fire-up-the-troops speech to the union base on Labor Day in Cincinnati; a dignified message of responsibility to the kids in the "Obama wants to indoctrinate your children" address; a touching tribute to Walter Cronkite that gently reminded today's journalists that they couldn't carry Cronnkite's jockstrap, let alone download it from the heavens on a closed circuit actuality feed; and the 95-yard-kickoff-return-for-a-touchdown-while-tiptoeing-down-the-sidelines-and-trying-not-to-step-out-of-bounds speech on health care reform. Pretty good week for a wordsmith.


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