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The punditocracy was wrong about Obama's speech

The conventional wisdom was wrong, as usual. Some in the punditocracy expected President Obama to tack toward the center, others expected him to run to the bosom of the Democratic Party’s liberal base. He did neither. By the end of his State of the Union address, when he summed up the whole speech in three words -- “I don’t quit” -- you had to take him at his word.

The president’s message was simple: He’s not going to zig or zag to boost his poll numbers. He knows the financial bailout was unpopular, but it was necessary. He knows many people didn’t like the stimulus bill, but it was necessary. He knows his own party won’t cheer a three-year spending freeze, but he sees it as the right thing to do. He knows health-care reform ran into a political “buzzsaw,” but he demands that Congress push ahead.

There were no fall-off-your-chair surprises in Obama’s speech, but many people might have been surprised by the style in which he delivered it. Obama didn’t sound like a president buffeted and beleaguered by the political fates. He sounded determined, patient, forceful, good-humored, at times even mischievous. He looked relaxed and in control. For the first few minutes, the applause was strictly partisan -- Democrats rising to clap, Republicans sitting on their hands. Toward the end, Republicans were often springing to their feet, too. Maybe they lost themselves in the moment.

Or maybe the Republicans -- and the Democrats, too -- realized that Obama was speaking over their heads to a nation that is fed up with “Washington” and “government” and “partisanship.” For the first time in months, it seemed to me, Obama reconnected with the language and themes that got him elected.

I’m for change, he was telling the assembled members of Congress. What about you?

By Eugene Robinson  | January 27, 2010; 10:58 PM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
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Next: What Obama can't bring himself to say -- we won in Iraq

Comments

Eugene heard what he wants to hear, so did a few other far lefties.

The speech was flat, self-cetered with too many "I's and Me's" (of course this is what pathological narcissists do), and the agenda outlined won't go anywhere.

The problem now is he better do something about jobs or he will assure a lot of liberals won't have one in November.

Posted by: asdf9876 | January 27, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse


"...when he summed up the whole speech in three words -- “I don’t quit” -- you had to take him at his word."

But we want him to quit. Once again, he wasn't listening.

Posted by: WylieD | January 27, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"a nation that is fed up with “Washington” and “government” ?

Hey, Mr. Robinson, you President Obama sycophant, Obama IS "Washington" and the "government." Keep pretending President Obama walks on water and the elections in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts didn't happen. The folks on your side of the aisle are going to get slaughtered in the fall if you keep thinking like that.

Posted by: SupportAndDefendTheConstitution | January 27, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

And asdf9876 opens the comments with a tired and fictitious right-wing trope. Studies have shown that Obama's predecessors, including W, used "I" and "me" more than Obama does. Remember "I'm the decider"? And "I earned capital in the campaign, and now I intend to spend it. It's my style." Ah, those were the days!

Posted by: bluejersey | January 27, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

LOL Gene.

Let's do some very simple math:

The stimulus bill ran around 800 billion dollars. That's 800 followed by 9 zeroes.

How many jobs did it "save or create"? According to Obama: 2 million.

Let's divide $800 billion by 2 million. What do you get?

$400,000

That's the cost of EACH JOB "saved or created" by Obama's stimulus.

Maybe I'm wrong, but with the same amount of money I could have "saved or created" TWENTY MILLION JOBS, at $40,000 each.

Unfortunately, few Americans -including pundits- can do elementary-school math. (Actually, Obama cannot even talk to elementary-school kids without a teleprompter).

Posted by: tropicalfolk | January 27, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Always amazes me how quickly the negatives are the first to rush in to give their opinions. Of course it all a repeat of the same things they say everywhere else. Nothing new there.

Posted by: Opinionated8 | January 27, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Holy moly, does this man have erotic dreams about the president or what? This is embarrassing.

Posted by: HookInMouth | January 27, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

What kinds of "ism" is this?! Favortism. Or just plain pandering? Or is it blind love? I voted for - and contributed to Obama. He is just another politician. Promised a lot and did diddly. NEW tone is Reid and Pelosi? Give me a break. He is NOW focussing on the economy because he couldn't get a mosntrosity of a Health Bill passed even with a super-majority.
Why do I read this garbage? Anger in the Ameircan people is palpable. Writing poetry praising Obama just shows how out of touch he - and his sycophants like Mr. Robinson - are....

Posted by: NonPartisan | January 27, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

POTUS did great tonight and like Michael Corleone said just when I think I am going to get out they drag me back in. Yu have my 100$ support and maybe one day the NO birds will figure out working for our country to fail is not a winning strategy for them. their new wonder boy ran as an independent and hardly says the word Republican knowing it is poison. Obamanos!

Posted by: jbento | January 28, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

My first impression was a good one... a few chuckles...

Early on Obama sounded like well a conservative ! speaking of deficits and unfunded entitlements.. announcing a first step with a freeze... even implied support for expanded trade... maybe a free trade deal with Columbia hinted at ? The cameras panned some sullen looking Democrats during these moments.

Obama than did a Sarah Palin ! Speaking of an energy plan supporting nuclear and offshore drilling and clean coal !! Just the mix of energy innovation Palin has long advocated.

Of course than the disappointments.. full speed ahead on health care and a spend-heavy jobs stimulus.. heck the first one created or saved millions ! so lets double-down.. whatever.

An end to terrorist friendly policy ? A shift from civil rights to terror prevention by the Justice Dept ? no way.

And the predictable sops to liberals.. withdrawal from Iraq unconditionally... more unfunded education entitlements... lots of indirect Bush-bashing... lots of I's and me's. Little humility. Heck we ended torture !! really ? most Americans like the liberal grandmother Pelosi from San Fran don't think waterboarding is even torture (it isn't).

No mention of KSM or Abdulmattah.. both whoem Scott Brown thinks should be sent to Gitmo. No mention of Iran ? maybe I missed that.

Obama may get a few points in the polls but... for a President who has failed to pivot fully... A fake to the right, a fake to the center, than more jumping to the left ..overall he's still a failed President hoping for a miracle. Tragic really.

Posted by: pvilso24 | January 28, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

For once Eugene, you're right. The pundits thought he would be apologetic, instead he was suicidal.

Posted by: mike85 | January 28, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

When I read some of the comment on this speech I really worry as to where America is headed. I am far from left wing but do we really want a country that cares little for the rights of it's fellow humans.

Are we really just a pack of wild dogs out for blood? That appears to me where some of these writers apear to belong.

We will win the terrorist fight with firm resolve but still remain part of a civil human race.

Posted by: max6 | January 28, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Obama has been president for more than a year and none of the change he promised has been achieved. As Bob Herbert, equally liberal, but more detached, wrote in a recent column at "The New York Times," Obama has a credibility gap.

No speeches can overcome a credibility gap or multitude of broken promises, except to the true believers who deny them. This country needs universal affordable health care and about ten million new jobs within the next few years.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 28, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

what Congressional Democrats wanted was evidence that the President could give them cover in November. Twenty minutes into the speech the Democrats looked ecstatic. Fifty minutes later they looked downcast.

Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts showed that the President's enormous personal popularity is not transferrable to Democratic candidates. The speech will not ease the anxiety of most Democrats about their own re-elections.

Posted by: miglefitz | January 28, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Yawn. All talk and no real action. Same ole' Chicago guy. What would create new jobs, action on Gay rights, Lawyer reform with health care, blah blah..it's over and so is paper news thansk to articles like Robinsons'.

Posted by: crrobin | January 28, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how much the republican/conservative political machine is paying their shills to log onto the the comments and blogs across the internet and condem or criticize the president's state of the union address.

It's clear that he hit this one out of the park. And for the first time in several months, Obama showed the country why nearly 70 million Americans voted for him last November.

The republicans might win a battle or two in the short term, but when the dust settles, they and their shills will lose the war because the American people will not be fooled by republican/conservative bigotry, stubborness, selfishness and hypocrisy.

I'm sure there are millions of Americans out there who understand what the president is trying to do -- and we far outnumber the repulican/conservative do-nothing naysayers.

We will prevail and history will show that the republican/conservatives were on the wrong side of the great issues of the day.

So, to all of you Obama bashers out there, keep crticizing while you collect your 30 pieces of silver.

My reimbursement is only that I will watch with great pleasure as the republican/conservatives eat crow while wiping egg off your faces.

Posted by: twilson66 | January 28, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

If Obama can get Health Care Reform passed with a "robust Public Option" he might be able to save his Presidency.
Otherwise, who can trust him?

Posted by: chasemonster | January 28, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

"we all hated the bank bailout. I hated it."

When does this President learn if ever. The toilet overflows and you clean it out because you need a toilet. The banks had to be saved to provide lending. After all the trillions the bankers still will not lend since they want the large bonuses from playing roulette with the insured deposits. If instead of making the Democrats the party of Wall Street this President would have brought back Glass Steagall the banks would be lending and not creating simply another mess that will have to be cleaned up again. The job of this President was to make the banks work again.

"we extended or increased unemployment benefits for more than 18 million Americans"
"Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America's businesses."

Americans want jobs and there will be no jobs if American jobs are allowed to be sent to other nations. There is no possibility of a healthy economy based upon non exportable jobs. Either this President and the government stop companies from sending the jobs of the 21st century involving computer technology to other nation, or this President and government take steps to provide continuous food stamps and unemployment payments for teens of millions of Americans. There can be no jobs for Americans when American jobs are simply sent to other nations. Nations in the 21st century do not survive by turning their back on the future and pretending that small businesses with limited resources will be the engine that creates tens of millions of jobs for Americans.

Americans do not need an angry President that pretends to rant and be angry.

Americans need a President that will fix the real problems and stop campaigning for 2012.
.....................................................................................................................
India may get $1 billion in IT outsourcing contracts
Reuters November 23, 2009
The newspaper said JPMORGAN, GOLDMAN SACHS and MORGAN STANLEY that received approval to pay back government stake worth $68 billion earlier this year are among the firms seeking operational efficiencies by outsourcing non-core IT and back-office projects to India.
..............................................
IBM to Cut 5,000 Jobs. Washington Post March 26, 2009
Officials began notifying employees on Wednesday and throughout yesterday about the layoffs. Technology services giant is in the process of shifting a large number of jobs to lower-cost regions, such as India.

Posted by: bsallamack | January 28, 2010 1:55 AM | Report abuse

It's fascinating how selective and short memory can be for some. Even if I didn't agree with Obama's message (which I do) I would appreciate having an articulate, intelligent president that doesn't leave my hand slapped to my forehead with mispronunciations and grammatical errors . His speech was unapologetic, crisp, informative and summed up precisely by those words, "I don't quit".

Posted by: tsully07 | January 28, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

It was a good speech but Obama is good at speeches but poor at governing and leading. His programs are a mixture of craziness in Cap & Trade, stupidity in taxing banks more which we will have to pay for as customers, freezing only 1/6 of budget and not until 2011. Eugene loves Obama so will defend him until he quits which I think he will do next year. He has hinted as much prior.

Posted by: mascmen7 | January 28, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

It's over, Gene; it's done. It was never a messaging problem, and Obama is an elitist, not a populist.

Obama IS Washington -- he and Dem Congress ARE government. The only partisanship is amongst Dems, as can be seen by the bipartisan stance to oppose ObamaCare.

It was a good run, Gene. Now, it's over, and now faux cheerleading or impassioned teleprompter reading will amend that reality.

Either Obama goes 1994 Clinton or he is gone in 2012. The Dems will hemorrhage House and Senate seats in 2010.

Obama is big government, and the people of NJ, VA and MA have clearly said "We don't want any."

Posted by: Truth6 | January 28, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

Great speech. Great man. Obama is far from finished. The Party of No was exposed tonight for the cynical, obstructionist behemoth they've become. BAM! Indeed.

Posted by: starkastle | January 28, 2010 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, you weren't listening to the same speech that I was listening to.

Posted by: john88 | January 28, 2010 3:32 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Robinson falls for the superficial: “Obama didn’t sound like a president buffeted and beleaguered by the political fates….. He looked relaxed and in control.” Had Robinson expected the President of the United States to behave like a schoolgirl making her first presentation in class? On what the essential, Robinson is, again as usual, just lost: “He [Obama] knows health-care reform ran into a political “buzzsaw,” but he demands that Congress push ahead.” Push right away? Next month? This summer when when campaigning door to door? Obama indeed neither “tacked toward the center” nor ran “to the bosom of the Democratic Party’s liberal base.” He did nothing. As usual, he just talked.

Posted by: gmdim | January 28, 2010 3:38 AM | Report abuse

I think you got it absolutely right, Mr. Robinson. I would quibble only with "maybe the Republicans -- and the Democrats, too -- realized that Obama was speaking over their heads to a nation that is fed up with...". I think you should have written 'more likely, the Republicans and the etc...".

I am impressed by your skills.

Posted by: morphex | January 28, 2010 4:16 AM | Report abuse

We can sum up the people who don't like Obama for any reason in one word ... RACIST!

The man is trying to fix problems in America and is and has asked for the republican's help, time and time again.

You hyper-critics don't really have a problem with Obama's politics.

Your trailer trash, cracker mentality can not, for all your worth (which is very little) credit a man of color. You would rather the country go to hell than cooperate and/or give this president any credit for getting anything done in a blatant hostile environment.

Call it what you will, but you know the truth.

Posted by: Topper2u | January 28, 2010 4:25 AM | Report abuse

"“I don’t quit” -- you had to take him at his word."

What does that even mean? When the boxer is on the ground two hours after the fight has ended with a concussed head and he says "I don't quit!" it's not a matter of 'taking him at his words'- it's about action.

Posted by: privacy3 | January 28, 2010 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson, The pundits were wrong!! The President actually spoke to Americans more than to Washington last night. The speech was good and he did take blame for some policy miscalculations, like health care, many of us feel rejuvenated in the hope that this nation can move forward. I know that most of the posts in the WaPo are from those who are on the right side of the political spectrum, bashing and slashing their way to what? No election for months yet and maybe we could all try a bit of bipartisanship for a while. It is fine to believe that your policies are better and to defend those policies but read the speech..he did hold an olive branch out to the other side. A new day, new possibilities for our country.

Posted by: Thinking4 | January 28, 2010 5:16 AM | Report abuse

The finest address to congress we have been prviledged to see in decades. Way better than that tripe reagan used to spew. I have not seen anyone look so in command, so comfortable leading and being president since FDR.

Were the republicons serious in their after-address? My God, mcdonnell looked like he was in a high school play pretending to portray...who ? wendell wilkie? Some fictional amalgam of past conservatives sticking striaght to a funny if he wasn't actually serious repetition of the same tired talking points republicons have spewed since??? mckinnley? The tiny room, the handfull of his own staff dressed up like stage props, the little podium??? Really? Not as funny as creepy kenneth jindal, but still amusing for about a minute.

Posted by: John1263 | January 28, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Republican Gouvernment = good
Democratic Gouvernment = bad

I want a tax cut, but don't cut my entitlements.
I want to make a fortune at the stock market, but I think Wall Street bankers are just greedy.
I hate deficits, but we have to expand the military.
I hate it, when gouvernment regulates everything, but why aren't we better protected from (swine flue, hurricanes, toxic waste, predatory lenders, TERRORISTS *shriek* ... fill in what fits best).
I love my first amendement rights, but every time someone else uses his I get really pissed and call him a nazi.
I don't think waterboarding is torture, at least not when WE do it to THEM.
I believe in religious freedom, but I think every muslim is a militant terrorist.
I know exactly what the American people think, feel and want, because I know some.
I am extremely angry because the gouvernment has not yet created the 7 million jobs we need, but I won't let them do anything without complaining and criticizing.

I am a REAL American.
Can you spell kindergarten?

Posted by: kmsoftly | January 28, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

The pundits were wrong?? Why, I'm amazed...

Posted by: Curmudgeon5 | January 28, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't second rate race pimp Eugene robinson just marry his boy-crush Obama and be done with it. Must be tough being in the closet and drooling all this time.

Posted by: birvin9999 | January 28, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

Yet again Robinson, you miss the boat entirely. Think you need to take off your race-tinted spectacles and hard as it may be for you, write something balanced, or at least remotely connected to reality. Your boy wonder is about to get a serious spanking come 2010/12 elections.

Posted by: SUBLIMEWOODY | January 28, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Good. The American people will continue to provide the leadership and will run the country for the next three years.

Posted by: hipshot | January 28, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't guess we've had a President I liked much during my lifetime. Without running through the whole list or going into details, I particularly didn't like Presidents Ronald(Ugh!)Reagan or George W.(Ughx10!)Bush. I didn't like President Bill(Ugh again!)Clinton, and so far I am not at all impressed with President Obama, but at least he finally sounds like a leader.
We'll see if he's going to lead or was just spouting empty rhetoric.

Posted by: meand2 | January 28, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

lets give the Republicans a 60 vote majority in the senate for one year and lets see how they do...
lets also give them a wide majority in the house...
if they don't perform America can vote them out...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 28, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

It was a good speech, now comes the time for action. It's time to reverse his previous decision on Yucca Mountain to allow for storage of nuclear wastes there. It's time to cancel Israels loan guarantees for 2010 and 2011 previously made by the Treasury Dept, until Israel freezes settlement construction for at least several years. It's time to include legal liability reform in the health care bill. Actions speak louder than words.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | January 28, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

yr for change ? like 100 million payoff to Ben Nelson ? like back door deal to the Unions for $60 billion . One year latter its the same politics except Chicago style, and yr for change ? same rah rah bs garbage that obama spewed out and did nothing about . Eugene, u r blind as a bat and drunk on Obama kool aid

Posted by: snapplecat07 | January 28, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Eugene is as dumb as the president. What planet do these people live on. Having heard such drivel one wonders if this guy is real.He has his priorities mixed up.He has no clue how to solve the people's problems.

Posted by: Alislam1 | January 28, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Reading the negative comments here from the right, and watching the faces of the Republican leadership in the chamber during the speech, I become convinced that at least that political sector senses that Obama hit a homerun with the speech and has probably regained control of the debate on most issues from the right, who thought they had it after the Brown win.

Posted by: tunkefer | January 28, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

My God,

Just like my spouse said last night, it does not matter what this man (President Obama) says or does, those right wing tea baggers, birthers, Limbaugh lovin "patriots"(hah) will find something to be critical of. If he said he would give their mama a $100,000 so she could live in her own home with assistance, they would rather see her in a cruddy nursing home. Those on the right and their leaders need to stop saying the cup is half empty and find out what they can do to help. Instead they would rather place obstacles, of words and deeds, in the way of progress and change. Funny how when Eugene writes something positive about Mr. Obama he is accused of being blinded by race. Yet many more white journalists wrote positively about President Bush and instead of being blinded by race, they were considered enlightened. Well, well, well.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | January 28, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Cmon Eugene, quit fawning over this man, you are embarrassing yourself! Your comment that he knows his party does not like the spending freeze but he thinks it is right for the country line made me spit out my coffee. He knows it is not the right thing to do but he thinks the conservative and independents will like it! Obama will say whatever he has to say Eugene and as long as pundits like you keep giving him a pass on his bllsht he will continue doing it.

Posted by: rbprtman23 | January 28, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Reading the comments is always entertaining in an ugly way. Eugene you are a race pimp?? WTF does that mean? They hate him for his color, you bet baby. The one thing that is really funny and puzzling is that all the haters say that we say Obama walks on water. I never heard anyone but haters i.e. republicans say that. In the meantime, we used to see films on Jesus camp praying to W. Freaky. Go Obama, go USA!

Posted by: eelvira | January 28, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow. The majority of Gene's commenters really do have nothing useful to say.

I look forward to the coming year. Obama described our common ground between political viewpoints in terms of what goals we want to accomplish. The differences lie in the methods we prefer to accomplish them. Instead of sticking to our politics and hoping it works out, he's pushing the politicians of Congress, and their constituents, to think first of the goal and then to craft a policy that will get us there, regardless of prior preference or ideology. That's a pretty laudable position. It will be interesting to see how many members of the opposition party will be willing even to try to participate productively.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 28, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Only a fool won't admit failure and change plans.

Posted by: speedo1 | January 28, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

No, Gene. we are not for his type of change.

Posted by: DaMan2 | January 28, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Knee grow, please. Let's cripple this clown in the fall and then send him packing to his birthplace Indonesia in 2012.

Posted by: tjhall1 | January 28, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

acorn is going to go away...
acce is going to take it's place...
time to stop these people...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 28, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Ditto kmsoftly!Ditto kmsoftly!Ditto kmsoftly!Ditto kmsoftly!!

Posted by: fgvanc | January 28, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Just wait until Odumbo is crippled in the fall elections, when he'll start playing the race card, as nearly all Black elected officials eventually do.

Posted by: tjhall1 | January 28, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for crafting a comment that was equal to the perfect symmetry of the State of the Union speech. Well done. I am ready to help with the not-quitting work. I look forward to joining others of like mind. God bless America.

Posted by: kathleenmrca | January 28, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson had SOME credibility with me until I saw him pre-SOTU being interviewed on MSNBC. Clearly, any pretense of journalistic impartiality of his behalf is gone! (and yes, I fell the same about Krauthammer whos is a "staple" of FoxNews).

Posted by: dmedman50 | January 28, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Twilson66 for articulating my own feelings, when all I seem able to do is unleash a loud scream in my head at the ugly, ignorant comments that the right-wing Obama haters are so quick to post.

It was a tremendous speech. As a liberal, I don't pretend that I'm not disappointed by some of Obama's agenda and some of the things that haven't been accomplished, but I'm still enormously proud that he's my president.

Posted by: oregonduck86 | January 28, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

How much does a job on Obama's communications staff pay, Gene?

Posted by: whughes1 | January 28, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I listened and again all I heard were the words of a naive, inexperienced lawyer with little understanding of reality. He scolded the Republicans for not "playing together" well and then told his Democrats to go ahead with their plans which include going behind locked doors and refusing to let the Republicans in or even to consider compromise, the heart of governing. He is an intelligent man with little commonsense who, because of his upbringing, is totally out of touch with the American public no matter what social class, race or creed. He has lived within a cacoon of elites that know little of anything real. We need a real president and a new "in touch" real Congress. Right now we are the preverbial ship without a rudder, or oar.

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Posted by: styrutdhfgjytieuyrgdef | January 28, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Conversation overheard in the East Wing:

"We need distance from the Congressional democrats."

Eugene: "Should I trash Pelosi today?"

"No, go after Reid first."

Eugene: "With pleasure."

"Be a sweety and zip me up...Barry's still sleeping."

Posted by: EliPeyton | January 28, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Eugene, I know you HAVE to support Obama, whatever he says and does. But really, he did indeed 'tack to the center' if not the right. His support of 1) building nuclear power plants, 2) a more unfettered approach to off-shore drilling and 3) clean coal (whatever that is), shows he has abandoned various 'pierres de touche' of the Left. Also, how can you reign in spending when you propose a huge jobs creation bill? How much frigging debt does he think the markets are going to us to rack up before they abandon us and finally decide we have indeed joined the ranks of the other bankrupt banana republics? The whole thing was incomprehensible.

Posted by: lafayette89 | January 28, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if 10 years from now the big lesson from these years will be the challenges of popular democracy. The Obama-haters are out in force denouncing the man and not the policies; no surprise there. What I hope it doesn't mean is confirmation that the "average" citizen cannot be trusted to govern him or herself. Issues are far too complex; attention spans too short; special interests (for good and ill) are more focused and thus more successful; and democracy is the worst form of government--save all others. I just hope we as a nation can adjust to our waning supremacy with grace and aplomb. Unfortunately history tells us that great powers decline in fits of fury--witness our bi-partisan penchant for military action. a.k.a. war.

Posted by: apartinalex | January 28, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

ASDF9876 above called Obama a "pathological narcissist" for using too many first-person pronouns. Two points: first, you don't know what you are talking about. Pathological narcissism has nothing to do with first-person pronoun usage. It is a term of art in psychoanalysis (not a very well-regarded theory these days, but still insightful anyway) to refer to people who cannot connect to other people, as friends or loved ones. Really, I would say that a lot of republicans have that trait, but that would still be too rhetorical a use of the concept of pathological narcissism. Please don't use terms you do not understand. Second, when I teach I tell my students to use the first-person pronoun because that indicates, correctly, that they "own" the ideas and arguments in the paper. Avoiding "I" also often results in a very boring passive voice, e.g., "A criticism was offered of ASDF9876's misuse of the term 'pathological narcissism". No--*I* offered that criticism. *I* is an indexical, a modality without which we could not communicate, so the use of indexicals does *not* betoken a mental disorder.

Posted by: douard1 | January 28, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

TROPICALFOLK do you know figures lie and liars figure. Jobs are not the only thing the stimulus was designed to produce,you know things like roads, buildings, bridges, and so on, and so on, of course I think you know that or you shouldn't even be making comments.

Posted by: ORNOT | January 28, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you, Mr. Robinson....I want him to succeed...I'm as tired of the bickering in Congress as I am of everything else, the economy, the lousy health care, the unethical behavior of Congress, the talking heads, the mis-statements, half-truths and out-and-out lies, and those who are keeping score and hoping that his team loses. If I hear the results of one more poll, I think I'm going to throw-up.

I'm tired of the negativity and while the speech sounded, at times, more like a sermon, sometimes a good sermon is what we need to hear.

Posted by: ilcn | January 28, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"He’s not going to zig or zag to boost his poll numbers"

He's gonna keep doing both

Posted by: Holla26 | January 28, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

It's become quite obvious that the "change" Obama is looking for is a change in US rather that in himself or his policies, as faulty as they may be! That's either a sign of a poor learner or of arrogance. Or, possibly, it's a combination of the two. He has yet to "learn" from the recent 3 elections (VA,NJ,MA) probably because he is "arrogant" enough to believe his Progressive press releases. That would also explains why his many telepromptered speeches are so full of "I's" and "me's" rather than reasonable policy proposals that would help the citizens of this country.

Posted by: baltic | January 28, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Silly little Eugene. Don't you feel just the smallest bit foolish playing cheerleader at your age. On the other hand , that little dress and the pompoms are YOU. Go girl!

Posted by: carlbatey | January 28, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Silly little Eugene. Don't you feel just the smallest bit foolish playing cheerleader at your age. On the other hand , that little dress and the pompoms are YOU. Go girl!

Posted by: carlbatey | January 28, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson..........you should take over Brian Williams job at NBC. He's an active supporter and cheerleader for Obama as well.

Posted by: richard36 | January 28, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

His speech ignored 2009 as he was speaking the same old BS as he did when he was campaigning. Did he really think the People are that stupid? Yes he always thinks we're stupid.

The fact that he seems more determined than ever to carry on with his evil agenda, proves that he is the one that is stupid. He really doesn't get or he really doesn't care.

The People are not only fed up with his lies and his Marxist agenda, they are ready to take matters into their hands. We are in a paradigm shift and I don't think the People can be stopped. We no longer believe our politicians and we're fed up with their stupidity, their spending and their dirty backroom deals.

When the People have lost everything, they go into action because they feel they have nothing left to lose. That's a dangerous group of People.

I urge Obama to stop as well as the Progressives before it gets really ugly. The People can only be ignored for so long before they do the unthinkable.

Posted by: aaniko | January 28, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

gene

come on, it's time to come into the fresh air. the daylight. don't be afraid.

i am not sure how you have survived so long up in obama's colon.

Posted by: jrzshor | January 28, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

President Obama could have gotten a standing ovation from the American people by just sayign one thing.

I have asked Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to resign.

The republicans could then come back and say, we have asked that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh be removed from their posisiotns.

That right there, the removal of those 4 people. Would turn this nation around within 3 months.

I hate all 4 of them. Nancy and Reid should be tried for treason. Glen and Rush should be tried for hate crimes.

Posted by: LiberalBasher | January 28, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Every State of The Union address is full of promises and lot of very bold statement.
Lat night it was “I don’t quit”.
Last night speech included this.

New Presidents are elected and they do not deliver and get tangled up their agenda and wake up when elections are coming. Obama fits all of it.

So the unhappy voters keep on jumping from democratic candidate to republican candidate. And this game goes on and we do not gain much.

Eugene, what is you point?

Posted by: 68b2b | January 28, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama gave a good speech but he usually does. Can't get much done with the do nothing congress. Republicans looked dour and glum. They let George do trillions in deficit spending when economy was good now they are the party of do nothing about anything.

I like the synoposis. In 2000 USA had a 200 billion surplus. George took office promptly cut taxes, went on vacation, was warned about Al-Quaeda attack(from Clinton holdovers) which he ignored, planes flew into buildings, fought two wars (one against those who attacked us) without paying for them, did a medicare program with deficit spending and Republican support. Deregulated wall street (Phil Graham helped lots as did most democrats) economy crashed. Republicans want to do nothing now(the party of HOOVER.Obama try as he might will never turn this ship around. The USA is the SS Titantic 2. Question is when it sinks not if it sinks.All Republicans care about is can they win next election in 2010 and then get rid of Obama in 2012. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. "There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke."

Posted by: zfreedom | January 28, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The idea that you think elementary math is the way to determine if the Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill)was worth it, shows how simple you are. 1)all the $800,000,000,000 has not been spent yet, so far less then 25% has been spent. Allocation does not = spent 2)He never said all was to create new jobs, some was allotted to extend unemployment payments as well as help with COBRA payments.

The bottom line is President Obama can push and prod all he wants, until Congress and the Senate stop acting like 5 year olds and start working together to help the American people this country will remain in dire straights.

Posted by: miaperry2 | January 28, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Gene Robinson gets it. Obama was awesome and undeterred by the GOP tactics of obstructionism, lies, and fear mongering. His speech was full of passion, compassion, and humor.

No surprise to see the brown-shirted, bottom-feeding, racist Right Wingers lining up here. Obama is a beacon of light; you are the darkness of hatred, stupidity, and mendacity.

Posted by: simonflannery | January 28, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Eugene - as usual you are spot on!! And as usual the President's oppenents are spot on with the same old tired rhetoric - they just reorder their words - I don't get it -- their mindset is set in a specific mode, I just can't figure out which one -- Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, or the Guy that took down Acorn and his unsuccessful attempt in the Senator's office, which is kept sort of quiet. I wonder why.

Posted by: phyllisr5 | January 28, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

As Gene's collegue Mr. Cohen stated, Obama was the only adult in the room. That's what came across, and why Gene's comment that the president was speaking over their (congresses') heads is so spot on. He's like a parent guilt-tripping his kids over being so bratty and self-centered while others are suffering. Could be a very effective message/tone over the coming months if he can stick to it.

Posted by: ChrisDC | January 28, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

The usual right-wing loon bats are out in full force this morning. (Of course that's to be expected, since most of them are unemployed!) But jeesh...will you lay off the teleprompter thing...it's really getting TIRED. WHAT president in the last 60 years DIDN'T use a teleprompter? George Bush couldn't even speak coherently WITH one. I'll take Obama any day.

Posted by: twnctyguy | January 28, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

His programs are a mixture of craziness in Cap & Trade, stupidity in taxing banks more which we will have to pay for as customers
Posted by: mascmen7 | January 28, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse
=============================

So you are perfectly OK with bailing out the banks and NOT getting our money back, is that what you are saying? Please tell me you are not that gullible!!

Posted by: Angryman | January 28, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Great speech. You are right, he talked over the heads of the politicians and many of the posters here. But did Americans get it? His words will only have meaning if the American people take action and send the message back to Washington to both the obstructionists and the pansy Dems alike. He was talking about me. I am tired of the partisanship, gamesmanship and self-serving politicians. It's hard to imagine that an entire group of Americans would find it a win to see America fail and Americans suffer more for their own political and financial gain - but we are seeing it right in front of our eyes. Thanks to 24-hour media, we can see it unfolding. As a D.C. resident, with no representation in Congress, my hands are tied in terms of pushing Congress to man and woman-up and get this work done. But I do my part in other ways. He isn't going to be able to do this by himself. Americans must take responsibility for our economy and future.

Posted by: DCcomm | January 28, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Obama didn't need a teleprompter to wipe the floor with McCain.

Lies and delusions from the Right? Wow, I'm like so surprised....

Posted by: simonflannery | January 28, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I thought the speech was great. I also thought that it showed the Republicans as the party that will block anything regardless of its merit because they feel they are some how "entitled" to be the party in power and if they are not they are going to do everything they can to obstruct any progress so the American people blame the party trying to do something after their boy destroyed it to begin with. They burned this countries economy down over 8 years and somehow we are expecting Obama to correct it in one? I think that Obama extented his hand and has gotten it smacked over and over and he should continue to extent it but at some point he has to get the job done. So the Republicans can be part of the solutions or add to the problems is what I got out of this speech. If the Democrats keep hammering that they extended the invite to participate IN GOOD FAITH, being the operative phrase here, then the Republicans still obstruct, then they do so at their own peril. Also I keep hearing pundits complaining about losing the "super majority." YO, quarter for the clue machine, there never was one. Lieberman screwed that up, as well as the blue dog Dems. That was a facade. To have had the super majority you would have had to have had LOYAL Democrats, not DINOS.

Posted by: jacquie1 | January 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Many posters seem to believe that poll numbers should decide policy. Presidents decide policy and this one isn't backing down.

I seem to recall a lot of chest-thumping and defiance on the right when George Bush ignored his tanking poll numbers. And of course there was the famous "Who cares?" comment from Dick Cheney regarding polls.

I prefer a president who does what he thinks is right to one that follows polls, even if I happen to disagree - and I do disagree with more than a few of Obama's decisions.

Posted by: EnemyOfTheState | January 28, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The President's main problem is that he keeps giving members of Congress the benefit of doubt and assuming they will act like adults when needed.

They have yet to show that ability.

Posted by: dailyfare | January 28, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

It appears that the President's critics here all have the same complaint: "This is hard. I want it to be easy, or I'm not going to play." Grow up.

Posted by: GUYL23 | January 28, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Obama's problem is not with WHAT he says.
The problem is WHAT he does.

Perfect example is the spending freeze.
They spending cap has been lifted so for him to say he's freezing spending is a joke. Anyone with a 5th-grade education can see right through that.

Now Obama wants to takeover the student loan program... and forgive student loans?

How is the that going to work when the US is broke?

Obama claims the money (profit) from the loan program will be plowed back into the economy. Profit? We all know out gov't couldn't run Microsoft without losing money.

Obama says he doesn't hate the banks...
But his actions prove he wants to take over their businesses.

Posted by: ravioliman6666 | January 28, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

An entire nation so entrenched in the self exile of privilege and intolerance embraces the elevation of Corruption by it's Judiciary. Something is driving you on the Right absolutely insane and it ain't Obama.

Posted by: minco_007 | January 28, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama may well become the next victim of the conservative hate machine. I think its possible that conservatives under strict party leadership and special interest sponsorship may be able to thwart any legislation that promises to effectively deal with our problems. The special interests who run the country don't want effective government and Republicans are there to do their bidding. President Carter ran afoul of the same machine and all though he was the most prescient of all of our presidents he has been vilified and castigated for speaking the truth. Fortunately, Carter has also outlived their lies and although our corporate owned media will never admit the truth many of his predictions have come true. I fear the same scenario may play out with Obama.

Posted by: tryreason | January 28, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

As I read many of these negative comments on a speech I considered pretty darn good I remember that it is highly likely that most, if not all, of these people voted for George W. Bush.

Need I say more?

Posted by: nyrunner101 | January 28, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

It is true, Washington is in perpetual partisan campaign mode and the American sheeple that have difficulties in formulating individual thought are all caught up in this nonsense.

Politicians on the Hill are so busy trying to sucker punch the other that things aren't getting done.

I appreciate the President's candid speech. I don't agree with all of his ideas, however, I do believe as a whole his ideas are good for America.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | January 28, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

TropicalFolk-

The stimulus money hasn't all been spent yet. I believe the government is calculating $97,000 per job. Not becasue the person is paid that whole $97,000, but becasue that's how much you have to spend to create or save a job. Salary is only part of the expense of having an employee, you know.

I'm working to administer almost $6 million of the stimulus money by doing some major construction work. I've seen how many people we've put to work first hand using that money, and there's still lots to spend. We are required to spend 75% of it by September 30 of this year, so we'll be very busy. The stimulus does work. I've seen it first hand.

Posted by: Mazarin | January 28, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Ah Eugene - it's not about quiting - it is about abandoning his leftist policies. It was nothing more then a 'me' speech....he is all but an empty suit hell bent on leading his party off a cliff.

Posted by: short1 | January 28, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Eugene says there were no "fall off your chair surprises," and that Obama "reconnected with language and themes that got him elected."

explain this part to us, please:

" We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution:

the notion that we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; that if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else."

_______


Since when does anyone have to "abide by the law" to be protected by it?

Since when must one "adhere" to "our common values" to be "treated" equally?

Is this passage referencing the assimilation of Muslims, Hispanics, or is it exactly what it looks like:

A threat saying that Americans, one and all, do not enjoy Constitutional protections unless they are SUBMISSIVE and try to blend in?

I hope more people take note of these sentiments which I find highly disturbing, whether used to target and manipulate any particular demographic, or as voiced in the
State of the Union speech, aimed at all Americans.


Obama said we have NO inherent rights.


First, we must submit to some indeterminate qualifying criteria of our worthiness to have basic human and civil rights.

Posted by: forestbloggod | January 28, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"our common values?"

like the pro-choice or anti-abortion values?

the pro-war, or anti-imperialism values?

Nascar values versus global warming values?


The only American values one should tout are enshrined in the US Constitution, which does NOT require one to "abide" to laws to be protected by them, nor "adhere" to some perceived set of values that does not exist.


The most heinous of criminals are protected by the laws of the land. No people on Earth are without habeas corpus rights guaranteeing their right to confront their accuser and have a court room determination of their guilt or innocence.

"Innocent until proven guilty" does not require anything else to be added to the notion of justice.

Obama is furthering the Bush doctrine of indefinite detention without formal charges, a trial, or any recourse to view evidence against oneself.


This is NOT American in my opinion.

Posted by: forestbloggod | January 28, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It is SO unamerican to want the President to fail, and many Republicans have already expressed that sentiment. I find that to be very sad and unfortunate. All I hear is criticism about what Obama has said/done, but nothing of what he has acoomplished. Has everyone forgotten the hell that we had to endure for 8 years while "Dubya" was in office? What did he accomplish...sending us to war under false pretenses, letting his presidency be run by idealogues b/c he was too stupid to know what was going on, butchering the English language, coming across so arrogant that you wanted to slap him...?

Posted by: crubyred | January 28, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

A seventy minute smoothie, chock-full of "notions" for everyone: it is like an omnibus suppository that somehow we get charmed into taking in a delicious blended amalgam of contrition, defiance, idealism, pragmatism, and a date-rape drug of patriotism thrown in to boot.

A spending freeze on everything except Defense? Big surprise.

Plus 10 billion a year to Pakistan, the same for Israel, a few billion a year to Mexico, a few for Columbia...

How about a handout to corrupt foreign powers freeze?

How about including the costs of the so-called wars in the Defense funding instead of supplementals? How about repealing tax breaks on the rich to pay for these wars?

How about admitting Democrats have rubberstamped, not Fillibustered, war spending, Gitmo's abuses, the Bush regime's political nightmare.

Grow a spine, or admit that Democrats and Republicans share a single mind: Corporate and uninterested in real democracy.

Posted by: forestbloggod | January 28, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The knee-jerk critical comments concerning Obama's speech and Robinson's piece are truly depressing. It just shows that people only hear what they want to hear and those opposed to Obama will never give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe, just maybe, he means it when he says he wants to do what is right? Maybe fixing the state of the union is not possible without some cooperation from the Senate? Yes, he promises more than what is in his power to deliver but is it conceivable that he would very much like to deliver what he promises and he is being thwarted by the political climate in this country?
And this screeching about bank bailouts and stimulus spending completely ignores the fact that this country was on the verge of total financial meltdown when he came into office. It is impossible to prove that the actions taken prevented catastrophe, you cannot prove what did not happen, but the screechers should acknowledge that they have no idea what would have happened if something totally different had been done. So many armchair experts who believe that the world would be in better shape if only Obama listened to them. Pathetic.

Posted by: serban1 | January 28, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Obama says he hates the bank bailouts. So then why did he go ahead and bail them out. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if he didn't. More solvent banks would step in and conduct business. The country would have more money. People wouldn't be as angry.

Mr. Obama, you might say you hate invading other nations and printing up more money we don't have. If you really hate something, don't do it. Just ask Ron Paul.

Posted by: SportingGoods | January 28, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Morning Gene!

Right on - He ain't quittin...

Good on him.

There was a swipe at the republicans that I don't know anyone actually 'got'....and I was so proud of him saying it.

At one point he was discussing the deficit, these Trillion from the past 8 years, and his one Trillion, and how his was debt neutral...

He could not have said any clearer: If republicans are worried about the debt, then they can pay it.

He's paying his.

Posted by: dutchess2 | January 28, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't flip off Americans. They don't like it.

Posted by: DANSHANTEAL1 | January 28, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, both you and Obama have something very similiar in common. You both enjoy riding the affirmative action train!

"ALL ABOARD!"

Posted by: cschotta1 | January 28, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama " I I I I me me me"
Robinson "isn't it great"

Same ole stuff.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | January 28, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't flip off Americans. They don't like it.

Posted by: DANSHANTEAL1 | January 28, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama started the partisanship by meeting with the Republicans after the inauguration, when they offered suggestions, he replied "I won." Which meant that not only is Obama childish but uncompromising.

The Republicans have offered legislation that never makes it out of committee. They have sent him letters on their proposals and never receive a reply.

Obama, in not so many words says "It's my way or the highway." The Chicago Way.

Obama also is living in fantasy land. Americans don't want deficit spending, earmarks, backdoor paybacks to donors, blantant bribes to get a vote. They don't want him pushing a socialized Health Care bill which has failed in every country which has socialized medicine.

As far as a stimulus bill that was needed, was it? A substantial portion has not been used, he's waiting to pass it around just before the elections. He's on permanent campaign-mode. And the funds that were used haven't been used to create long-term jobs. And as far as saved jobs, there is no substantive way to ascertain this number, so say the experts.

His outreach and concern for Americans are "Words....just words....."

Posted by: janet8 | January 28, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, it's always fun to disagree with just about everything you say. It's even more interesting when I agree with the basic tenet of your article. I couldn't agree more that the President a few "unpopular" things; bailout of banks (started before he got in office), instituted a stimulous package (although poorly aimed for maximum affect), etc. I'll give him props for those. However, you biggest point that maybe you soft-shoed a bit, was about taking on Congress as a whole. He has a common foe with the American People...Congress. He should call them out just like he called out the Supreme Court. Take them on by name and make them be accountable in November.

Posted by: rhino2 | January 28, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Strong on Defense, continued Bush's program to bail out Wall Street, tax cuts for 95%, tax cuts and incentives for small businesses to hire, nuclear power, clean coal, offshore drilling, 3 year freeze on non-Defense spending, pay as you go, no capital gains tax for small business. OMG, Obama's a Conservative.

More stimulus, increases taxes on incomes over $250k, health care, incentives for college students to pay off debt, tax the big banks, fund local banks to give small business loans, cap and trade, clean energy, healthcare. OMG, Obama's a Liberal.

67 minutes were bi-partisan. Yes, Obama's a Moderate.

Only spent 2 minutes chiding the Republicans for fighting 2 unfunded wars and unfunded tax cuts which doubled the National debt in 8 years. The Republicans sunk in their chairs, squirming like embarrassed school boys caught looking up the girls dresses. I thought some might die of shame.

Obama's final words - Stop the partisan bickering. Both parties are responsible to do their job and fix America. Yes, Obama is more statesman than politician.

Time for all to put America first and their petty politics second. Time for the Party of Debt Doesn't Matter to take responsibility for their actions and get to work with the Democrats to fix America. Time for all Conservatives to demand the Party of No join Obama in a bi-partisan fix of America. Alternatively it is time for all true Conservatives, as in debt does matter, to abandon the Republicans.

Posted by: chucky-el | January 28, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Robinson,

Obama's speech served notice that the greatest foe to American recovery is the American who says "NO!" just to thwart successful recovery under Obama's leadership.

And what are we recovering from??? A decade of George W. Bush and majority Republican leadership in all 3 branches of government.

Let's not forget that America's financial and spiritual problems in general are REPUBLICAN created...

The "Affirmative Action Train?"

If there is one thing that Obama wasn't talking about it was maintaining racial divisions... Which is what some of your Republican readers think the country needs more of.

Posted by: gmoore40 | January 28, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Once again Eugene Robinson referrs to "The Pundits" as if he were somehow seperate from that demographic.

Posted by: thecomedian | January 28, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"My way or the highway" is the Crawford way, not the Chicago way.

Posted by: mattintx | January 28, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

A good, thoughtful speech. It may be that the younger, white "No" males are full of fear. They did not get what they thought their color deserved and now realize that it is too late. That is what makes the need to strike out while hiding behind their "nicknames." When they are hired to write a column...they can use their real names. I won't hold my breath!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | January 28, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Robinson, when are you going to realize that Obama is a classical narcissist (look it up)so his words mean nothing?They always blame someone else on their failures. Last night it was the Washington insiders and Bush (again). He is one sick puppy. His grandiose idea of transforming this nation is crumbling as the public is waking up.The good people of Ma. including legions of union members see it also. We can't get to November fast enough.

Posted by: katie6 | January 28, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The speech was flat, self-cetered with too many "I's and Me's" (of course this is what pathological narcissists do), and the agenda outlined won't go anywhere.
===========================================

So many postdoctral graduates from BSU here today. They 'analyze' the president without excluding their own biases. Kinda like how Sen Frist 'diagnosed' Schaivo without seeing her....

Posted by: priceisright | January 28, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

For over a dozen years he listened to his preacher scream "God DAMN White America!"

Looks like it stuck.

Posted by: tjhall1 | January 28, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

You have a keen sight.......you even see what is not there!!!

Posted by: Richa1 | January 28, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I must have watched a different version of the president's "State of Union" speech last night. I am registered Republican, but I thought it was a very good, eloquent speech.

He acknowledged that long term deficits endanger interest rates which are the fundamental basis for economic growth.

"Just say NO" may be a fine slogan for fighting drugs, but it's no way to set policy.

Posted by: jpc1 | January 28, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Good analysis of his speech. He was relaxed, Presidential and he made me feel reassured. He was talking to the middle-class and those who strive to get there.

I have already been helped by many of his policies this year. I was able to renegotiate my mortgage and my husband has more take-home-pay because of the payroll tax cuts. I am still looking for full-time work but I have lived through a recession before and job creation will be slow. But the jobs bill he talked about may help with that too. Who knows?

I especially liked his comment about the ten years of stagnation in the private sector. He reminded us that the Republicans are not the masters of the fiscal and job creation universe. Their policies (along with some Democrats) got us in this situation, so please don't vote them back in control of congress! He didn't over promise on job growth and he leveled with the American people by acknowledging the 7 million jobs lost may not all come back. From the tax cuts to the tuition loan assistance he was speaking directly to me and most of my friends who have just graduated college already 50K in debt before getting our first job. The idea about putting lobbyist contributions online was great and telling by the reaction of the chamber they were nervous about it. Good. They should be nervous because the American people are fed up with the gridlock, a lobbyist contribution database will make them accountable for holding up legislation and caving to special interests.

I didn't vote for Obama so he can solve all of my problems. I just want him to level the playing field for those of us who don't have a voice in Washington. So far he has helped and I am grateful for it. All in all a great speech unfortunately people are so cynical they can't see the forest for the trees.

Posted by: sherminta | January 28, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Remarkable set of ad-hominem attacks from the anonymous wingnut corner this morning.

Memo: you could possible win some support from we independents if you noted specific policies you disagree with, and provided alternatives to those policies that better address the issues.

I know. I'm dreaming. Because solving our problems is not what their foam-flecked opposition is about.

-- stan


Posted by: Stan_Krute | January 28, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Questions for the wingnuts:

1. What's the "Barry" thing all about ?

2. What's the "born in Indonesia" thing all about ?

3. What are the intimations of homosexual cravings by Mr. Robinson all about ?

4. What are the affirmative action attacks on Obama all about ?

-- stan krute

Posted by: Stan_Krute | January 28, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

great speech by the President.

of course, right wingers look for what is evil in others who want to chart their own path.

Mr. Robinson, you are correct

Posted by: wrock76taolcom | January 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Agree with you Robinson! I was just looking at the photos on the front page and wondering where in the speech John McCain gave his enthusiastic two thumbs up. Anyone know?

Posted by: samantha3 | January 28, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse


Why would Republicans try any longer to work with this Fraud or the Lib Dem Socialist Party? He has dismissed, demeaned, attacked and totally discounted and ignored all Republican input. He has arrogantly deceived about his real motives and means by which to achieve them. He is no more than a part of Alynski wing of the Socialist Party. He is a South Chicago Street Agitator Hack who has surrounds himself with those of similar mindset....Axlerod, Emanuel, Jarret, Gibbs as well as a Shadow Govt of Communist Van Jones like Czars. He is not to be trusted. He does not have America's best interests in mind. Not at all. Anyone in their right mind would distance themselves from him. It has only been one year, one very long year, for him to alienate over half of America. The next three are going to be ugly. The Republican victories this Fall as well as clear thinking Dems may be enough to save the Nation from his Radical Agenda. Barry and the Lib Dem Socialist is sinking under the weight of their own Deceit and Arrogance. He sealed that deal last night.

Posted by: jas7751 | January 28, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The Party of No (see many of above) continues to rant against Obama and Democrats, but my favorite part of Pres. Obama's speech was when he called out the Republicans. Republicans are more "responsible" because of their obstruction now and deregulation of Big Business morals over the Bush years

Posted by: tjacobs61 | January 28, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Ex-lobbyists are the core of obamas cadre, did anyone notice? obamas promises to remake washington politics are as empty as the ability to keep them. too bad.

Posted by: calkid1 | January 28, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"I'm for Change. What about you?" What sort of change do you mean Eugene? He never specifies it!!!!! The only "change" I see is a move back to the catastrophic disaster of Statism and autocracy. I suppose you love that.

Posted by: egrib | January 28, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

He looked us republicans right in the face and asked "Let me hear your proposal on health care reform". I wished for a yell from the crows- HOW ABOUT TORT REFORM!

Posted by: fordcrml | January 28, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Who's listening to the independent voters? Are both parties sound deaf? Can't they hear anyone but their party’s extreme wing ideologues? In reality, our elected officials don’t represent ordinary citizens anyway…they serve their masters in the financial sector, the trial lawyers, Pharma, etc. When will we ever get a third party that represents us? We need to vote all incumbents out of office – it may be the only way to send them the message.

Posted by: sero1 | January 28, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
Abraham Lincoln

Posted by: amorsolo | January 28, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Lord knows I love the left; I get my daily dose of humor that way. a typical Chicago politician spoke last night with little to say except to blame everyone but himself for his political failures.
Eugene, keep me smiling!

Posted by: glennbo29 | January 28, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"-you had to take him at his word."

No I didn't, and no I don't. I take the man at the results of his actions. Being a nice speaker is entertaining, but ultimately useless.

Posted by: whizkidz1 | January 28, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I would love to smoke what you have been tokin' Mr. Robinson.

The Chronic: High grade delusions of grandeur.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | January 28, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

obama is going to fight fight fight.
go to youtube, and watch him throw
a baseball, he must have gotten bullied
by girls. this guy can't even throw
a baseball!
what do they teach you in muslim schools?

YouGene is another girly boy type.
can you throw a slider, youGene?

Posted by: simonsays1 | January 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

You Obama sycophants don't care if he actually accomplishes anything - you are completely appeased by good speeches. Obama could spend the next 4 years doing nothing but giving lovely speeches every night on national television, and you'd cheer and fawn and talk about what a great job he is doing.

At what point do we start judging this man on his accomplishments? Talk is cheap. I need less speeches and more action

Posted by: Tinman1188 | January 28, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what planet Obama lives on, but I think that Eugene lives there too! The pompous egoist blames everyone for his failures. How can you say that he was talking to a nation that is fed up with Washington. HELLO!!! He is Washington. This administration that he recruited from his dirty Chicago days are thugs that will do anything with his consent to win. He said that he will not quit. Do you understand that his sole objective was to "transformationally change" the US whether the American people want it or not and he knows that he only has a four year time period to do it? He doesn't care what the average American thinks because to him, they are too dumb to understand it. He has completely underestimated the common sense and the strength of the people who can see past his deceit. Anybody who knows that 2 plus 2 equals 4 can quickly figure out that Obama's math doesn't add up.

Posted by: Canuck6474 | January 28, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

For all the commentators who are accusing the Republicans of being responsible that nothing passed this year forget that the Democrats have the majority in Congress and Senate. They could pass anything without the Repubs.
Since the Dems. and liberals usually have problems seeing the real picture and distort facts, nothing got done because of the Democratic party. At least be truthful, for God's sake!!!!

Posted by: Canuck6474 | January 28, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is that this country is in much better shape than it was a year ago. We are currently in good hands. But, as always, right wingers are fighting progress. Our situation is sad. Analyzing our political options isn't that complicated. However, the American public is always led around by the nose and convinced to vote against self interest. At whatever time Americans wake up and pay attention to the real threats we face they will regret all of the opportunity that has been wasted.

Posted by: angrob | January 28, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Why do the far-right wingers all sound exactly the same, boring, negative, whiney, and parroting? It wouldn't have mattered what President Obama did or said, they had their responses ready before he spoke because they have only one negative mouth.

Sad that they can't think for themselves, but we at least know by now not to listen to them. Jon Stewart shows the right-wing leaders echoing the same words one after the other, as if they're scared to death of getting one word out of place. They're paid to say the same thing. Or threatened. And they're scared.

But for the rest of you who really think and listen, we can talk.

I was very impressed. How many times during the campaign did those of us on his side worry and fret whether he was fighting hard enough? How often did we wonder if he was too cool? Too calm? Well, that's who he is, and he's comfortable with that and he's still a fighter and working like crazy every day. I'm giving him his full four years, and hopefully more, and I expect great things. I trust him.

Posted by: cturtle1 | January 28, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see the polls? Most of us out here -- in spite of what the GOP is always trying to make you believe -- are IN FAVOR of President Obama. That's the majority of Americans, regardless of a whiney, broken-record, far right-wing faction who constantly talk as if "America" looked just like them. God forbid!!

Posted by: cturtle1 | January 28, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

A good analysis and, as usual, we have lots of commentary that ranges from the rant to the ridiculous. As one responder noted, the person doing "simple" math on the Stimulus package reveals only his or her simple-mindedness. I've been on Planet Earth 84 years, most of it the Washington area and working in government and with friends who have been in very high positions and others worker bees. Believe me, this is the most partisan time that I can remember, with moderates from both parties, but mostly in the GOP, driven out. We are left with such nonsense-peddlers as the tea baggers, the Rush Limbaughs and his ilk, and Republicans who should know better peddling absolute nonsense and lies--the birthers, those who believe granny is going to be killed. The country faces the most serious problems since 1933, both short range and long range, yet the Republicans have decided that political potshots and saying "no" to anything proposed by the Democrats is a proper game plan.
The Democrats are hardly perfect and also are partisan to some extent; but with President Obama and some others, face up to the problems we have and attempt to something about it. Meanwhile it appears that the ill-informed, the wingnuts and others are determined to spread their brand of political anarchy. Too bad, America; we deserve better.

Posted by: philat | January 28, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"But we want him to quit."

I do not.

I want a President who will win and never stop trying to win.

Second place is not for the USA.

We elected him. Now let him be a winner.

If you have something positive to do, then get your person elected and support them.

But don't try to shut us down now.

We want to win.

Posted by: gary4books | January 28, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"HOW ABOUT TORT REFORM!"

Nice but not anything more than a side show. It will not matter that much and can always be added in other legislation. It is much more a debating point than anything real and palpable.

Now if it were tied to a real reduction in malpractice rates, I could get excited about it. But why not get a bill put into play and see how it does?

Posted by: gary4books | January 28, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I used to like Gene when Bush was president. I found him to be a thoughtful critic who seemed more interested in what was good for America than what was good for the political left. Since Obama showed up on the scene as a candidate, Robinson has transformed from an analyst into a cheerleader for Obama. He seems to take it personally when anyone criticizes Obama, as if it were his own child. I wonder why Gene has changed in this manner.

Posted by: jack_mo_99 | January 28, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

One thing is for sure. Many of those who can't see beyond their hatred for Obama--but were lapdogs for Bush-Cheney--at least they are organized. They make up a disproportionate number of those on the right and they are good in orchestrating negative streams of responses to any compliments in the direction of the Obama administration.

Posted by: JohnY1928 | January 28, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Fifteen months hasn't changed anything...but I'm not referring to what the president has done or not done. Instead I'm talking about facts and short memories. Here are a few that are jumping off the pages "inspired" by the naysayers posts here:
During the Bush administration, the country
-created the fewest jobs of any period of economic expansion
-de-regulated nearly everything having to do with companies making money
-gave away the surplus in the treasury that had been created by Clinton's administration in the great "make the people love me by sending them each $600 check giveaway"
-Started a trillion dollar illegal war in Iraq that devastated a culture for no particular reason (other than access to oil, most likely) -and lied to the American people in the process
-illegally used the power of the Vice Presidency to punish a civil servant for telling the truth
-rammed through a "Patriot Act" that deprived American citizens of rights guaranteed by the Constitution
-gave unnecessary tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans
-took away support for educational loans and turned them over to banks so students could get screwed by the financial companies
-made an effort to turn social security into a ponzi scheme for investment companies
-made certain that insurance companies could continue their rape of American citizens and presided over a decade where health care insurance premiums doubled (along with reduced benefits for everyone)
-provided a silly drug giveaway program to enrich the pharmaceutical companies at the expense of the taxpayer in a program that was not needed and benefitted only the few at huge expense-
-did everything they could to be anti-energy conservation (their solution is more drilling) and anti green
-opened pristine federal lands owned BY THE PEOPLE, so that energy companies could continue to line their deep, deep pockets, and their crowning achievement:
-installed a right wing political majority in the supreme court to make certain that there can be continued assaults on the constitution and on individual rights and freedoms.

Now. Can someone please explain to me how the Conservative Right is going to "fix things" that will benefit anyone other than corporations and the wealthy? I'd like to know...

Posted by: ccxsen | February 1, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

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