TSW #22

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When Barack Obama says, “This isn’t political grandstanding,” you have a pretty good clue that that is exactly what it is. Lest anyone doubt that, consider this from the third-to-last paragraph. “You should pass it. And I intend to take that message to every corner of the country.”

In other words, this was a campaign speech. It might result in passage of some of Obama’s proposals, and some of them might even do some good. But of course we didn’t see the kind of change of direction on policy that Bill Clinton made in 1995 and 1996, which enabled him to rise above his party’s 45% level of support in the 1994 elections (that’s the Democratic percentage of the House popular vote) and with 49% of the vote win reelection in 1996. (Ross Perot won 6% that year; polls suggest two points of it would have gone to Clinton had Perot not run.) I don’t think these proposals have the potential to turn around the careening economy, I don’t think many of them will become law and I don’t think this campaign initiative is likely to prove successful. From the demeanor and affect of the unhappy warrior at the podium last night, I suspect he may feel the same way.

Since I commented on Michele Bachmann’s makeup after the Republican presidential debate last night, let me make a comment on male neckware [sic] today. What is it with pastel ties? Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Boehner were all wearing them tonight, and so was Fox News’s Ed Henry, reporting from the White House.

Michael Barone, DC Examiner, September 9