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Grading Obama's Economy Speech

President Obama's just-completed speech on the economy marked a sharp and (purposeful) departure from many of the addresses he gave both on the campaign trail and in the early days in the White House -- explanatory rather than lyrical, substance heavy and style light.

"This is going to be prose, not poetry," Obama warned the crowd at Georgetown University, and the speech he gave made good on that promise. He repeatedly sought to ground the address in the actions that had been taken by his administration, the reasons why those actions were necessary and the challenges that lay ahead.

Only as he concluded the speech did Obama revert back to the sort of oratory on which he made his political name.

He ended the speech this way:

It is that house upon the rock. Proud, sturdy, and unwavering in the face of the greatest storm. We will not finish it in one year or even many, but if we use this moment to lay that new foundation; if we come together and begin the hard work of rebuilding; if we persist and persevere against the disappointments and setbacks that will surely lie ahead, then I have no doubt that this house will stand and the dream of our founders will live on in our time.

How did Obama's speech play? The Fix conducted our own focus group of sorts to answer just that question. We asked two dozen (or so) political strategists of both political parties to watch the address, grade it and give us a line or two of analysis on what they liked or didn't like.

A sampling of the responses are below. We'll add more as they trickle in throughout the day. (A sidenote: We offered the focus groupees anonymity so they could make an honest assessment although some felt free to speak on the record.)

What did you think of the speech? The comments section awaits.

Fred Yang, Democratic pollster: Grade A-. "This is the practical, detailed, sober yet guardedly optimistic economic speech we've been waiting for. No one in politics today does seriousness in an accessible way as President Obama."

John McLaughlin, Republican pollster: Grade C. "Beginning to bore and wear out teleprompter. Didn't cover any new ground. Seems to be setting low political expectations for results, but trying to shift to offer hope -- even as things get worse."

Mary Matalin, Republican strategist: Grade Incomplete. "He is a master orator. Very good framing up the problems, too short on solutions...Bottom line: good by Beltway standards, not a game changer for increasingly skeptical flyover country."

Matt Bennett, Democratic strategist: Grade A. "He stood his ground on tough issues and walked the tightrope that he used in the campaign -- laying out what his critics say and responding to them effectively. That's VERY hard to do well -- the first law of politics is never to repeat the charge against you -- but he pulls it off brilliantly."

Tad Devine, Democratic media consultant: Grade A. "The country is ready for more fireside chats, and less fire breathing sermons, so his tone was right, as was his content."

Todd Harris, Republican media consultant: Grade: N/A. "This was make up work. This was Obama as president, professor and even preacher. He did a good job laying out the problems, but the fact that three months into his administration they felt the need to make this speech at all speaks to their failure until now to explain this crisis, and his proposed solutions, to the American people."

Republican strategist: Grade C-. "I didn't hear anything new - and it was way too long. And the market dropped 100 points today -- so they don't like it either."

Democratic Strategist: Grade A. "The rookie explains complex economic issues (like why the lack of effective demand compels government pump-priming) as well as Hall of Famers like Roosevelt, Reagan and Clinton."

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 14, 2009; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: White House Cheat Sheet: An Economic (Re)Focus?
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Comments

It would have been nice to hear from someone who wasn't a party shill. The Fix must know someone with an economics background. As it is, all we have is the knee-jerk from the two sides of the aisle.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | April 15, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Republican pollster, Democratic pollster. Republican strategist, Democratic strategist.
Republican media consultant, Democratic media consultant.

Funny, when I want to know how good an economic plan is, I would think that an economist would be a good person to ask. Or an analyst. Or, I don't know, somebody whose expertise is remotely relevant to the content of the speech.

I understand that this is a political blog (and I generally love it). But policy is an integral part of politics - and if it's not, it's largely because the media tends to emphasize the political dynamics over the actual policy repercussions.

Is it too much to ask to consider whether the plan will work - not just whether it'll play in Peoria?

Posted by: gezi | April 15, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Republican pollster, Democratic pollster. Republican strategist, Democratic strategist.
Republican media consultant, Democratic media consultant.

Funny, when I want to know how good an economic plan is, I would think that an economist would be a good person to ask. Or an analyst. Or, I don't know, somebody whose expertise is remotely relevant to the content of the speech.

I understand that this is a political blog (and I generally love it). But policy is an integral part of politics - and if it's not, it's largely because the media tends to emphasize the political dynamics over the actual policy repercussions.

Is it too much to ask to consider whether the plan will work - not just whether it'll play in Peoria?

Posted by: gezi | April 15, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

svreader - You haven't kept up. Baby Fix's name is Charlie. There was a nice video last week, so check the archives. Cute as a button.

BB

P.S. As the father of (now 3 year old) twins, I completely sympathize with sleep deprivation. I suspect the campaign was good preparation.

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | April 15, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

These comments aren't very thoughtful or illuminating, they just sound like super-typical partisan hack reactions-reminds me of the late CNN show "Crossfire". It may be more useful to analyze the news coverage of the speech (or lack thereof, if that's the case) in order to understand what more Americans saw, as not many probably tuned in in the daytime.

This post shows clearly the limit of strategists to provide solid insight when they're not being paid. And pollsters? Partisan pollsters sell selected results to the press all during the campaign, it's even worse when they try to analyze a speech's success without their own empirical data.

Posted by: sfcpoll | April 14, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

This is a stupid commentary- partisan about personality and party but not about ideology or meaningful change- all of the repugs give him C or less and every Dem gives him an A? I am a far left Dem and he does not get As for just not being Bush- he has the opportunity to make real changes here but continues with many failed policies- the "left" sees him as immaculate and he does no wrong- this is not helpful in pushing policy.

The "right" is ridiculous- accusing him of all types of radicalism and hurling stupid accusations at him about everything, even his dog choice-

Both sides need to dump the personalization of this and also look beyond parties. Being a Dem does not mean that a Dem leader is always right, just as any smart Repug should be able admit that their leader of the last 8 years was an absolute failure. As long as it is about him and not policy, no meaningful long lasting change will happen and he will feel no pressure to shift policies in any direction

Politics in this country are so truly stupid- we never address the real issues. Really, a two-party system is in no way democracy and does not really promote a variety of opinions or compromise- time to "blow it up and start over"- constitutional ammendment to create a parliamentary system!
Leon

Posted by: nycLeon | April 14, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

broadwayjoe - maybe Moss was the traitor and Tony had to kill him.

Probably not. But maybe Tony knows that this guy who killed the FBI agents can lead him to the real power behind the conspiracy - the Caspian oil magnates from the second year. And maybe he will use the canister to stop them from using their

DIABOLICAL ENERGY WEAPON.

For more, read

Scribbler50@IThinkJackBauerIsReal.com

and if the govt. blocks the link by saying it is broken - well, you know what that means.

Posted by: scribbler50 | April 14, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Oddly enough the grades broke along party lines. I wonder why that happened?

Posted by: tinyjab40 | April 14, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Columns like this one are why I only read The Fix sporadically. Chris is so into the "insiders" game that he can't see the bigger picture.

Who really cares what a bunch of paid p.r. hacks have to say?

Posted by: pagun | April 14, 2009 7:03 PM
_______________
What he said...

Thank goodness BHO and the two Davids figured out two years ago that no one cares what Broderworld says or thinks.

They dine at the Palm and talk only to each other. They can't believe BHO won, and they can't understand how BHO is at 70% approval. Broder every week cranks out junk that conflicts with all factual information and polling (his latest, BHO is polarizing--a thesis supported by...well, nothing). BHO went from 53 (his vote share) to 70 -- must there not have been indies and Obamacans in the 17% jump? Huh, Broder?

In just a few months BHO has marginalized the GOP into a regional bunch of extremists (the Party of No) whose base exists only in the Deep South and on hate broadcasting (Rush, Beck, Hannity, Ingraham). And hannity type shows have a tiny audience, rarely more than 2 million or so--great compared to other cable shows but nothing relative to our 300 million population.

What gets me is the corporate sponsorship of this junk: I know Hannity's is basically ED and anti-balding medicine, but still....

Oh, BHO's grade?: A. Still a 4.0 average this year for 44.

Disappointed in Tony Almeida.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | April 14, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Columns like this one are why I only read The Fix sporadically. Chris is so into the "insiders" game that he can't see the bigger picture.

Who really cares what a bunch of paid p.r. hacks have to say?

Posted by: pagun | April 14, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Your most humble correspondent, question; I can count six Jhon's and three Ben's. One was inlisting in the Army. How many do I have left? LOL

Posted by: sssquirrel | April 14, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

His speeches are always great. The problem is he usually turns around and does the exact opposite of what he promises.

Posted by: HockeyMike351 | April 14, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Your most humble correspondent, question; I can count 6 Jhon's and two Ben's. One was inlisting in the Army. How many do I have left? LOL

Posted by: sssquirrel | April 14, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The great Venture Capitalist Arthur Rock told me something many years ago about investing --

Never stand in front of an oncoming train.

Art was a very smart guy...

Posted by: svreader | April 14, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

This morning I saw a bunch of millionaires and even a couple of real-life Billionaires treating a CEO breakfast like an Obama rally.

The guy's got people that turned on.

People were planning to go out and buy stock out of their own pockets.

Sale ends soon.

Posted by: svreader | April 14, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

The Fix's sampling of speech reaction is interesting reading. No surprises, but lots of interesting folks. Easy to say, "well, their point of view was predictable" - as indeed it was - but the gathering and posting of their views was a task pleasing to political junkies like your humble correspondent.

If some day Mary Matalin gives Obama a B-minus, stand by for the Millenium. I may begin wearing a parachute, just in case I'm unexpectedly sucked up into the clouds.

Posted by: Miss_Hogynist | April 14, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

(manical laughter here)

Posted by: sssquirrel | April 14, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Whatever.. the parking meters are still running ... No escape. lol


Posted by: sssquirrel | April 14, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"At a Theater chain in DC, there are some office manager positions that are employed full time at a wage that is a little over the current minimum wage, but not the new and upcoming one. When the minimum wage increase goes into effect, these admin positions will be eliminated, because the theaters cannot afford to keep the position and still pay for the wage increases for their box office, concessions, ticket takers, etc."

Please. Spare me the anecdotal evidence. Republicans always seem to have some story or another as to why a Democratic policy won't work. Sure joblessness has skyrocketed as well as inflation at the end of Bush's term, but we saw that my aunt's neighbor ended up being able to buy a nice new pair of shoes under the Bush administration.

Spare me. The economy has gone to hell and all you've got is anecdotal evidence?

Posted by: DDAWD | April 14, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Chris, thx for the fix. The comments from the strategist are not surprising, with the exception of Matalin. Kudos to her for breaking out of the predictable partisan spin. I'm not sure the opinions of political operatives matter much since the WH is clearly trying to speak to those outside the beltway. It will be interesting to see if the parable has much hold in the upcoming weeks and months.

Posted by: twshen5 | April 14, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse


bsimon:
(smiles)
i have no grade to give our President.

why?
well, AZ's dept of education has taken grades of a, b, c, d, and f off the board and instead, has initiated ...
performance measures....you are either failing or passing (dependent on the performance measure of the collective group)..........

so my grade is that the President performed in a passing manner.

everyone should come to arizona schools - you never get an F


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 14, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Chris -

You look a lot older. You need to get some sleep.

How the little fixista?

How old is he/she now?

Posted by: svreader | April 14, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I give President Obama an A. I give Mike Steele an F for his "arrogant" comment directed at Obama today.

For Republicans, it seems to be politics of personal characterizations almost all of the time. I, for one, am tired of this type of politics. As long as Republicans keep making politics one about personalities, they should continue to tank in the polls.

By the way, my very conservative, Republican preacher listed "cling to Jesus" as a positive directive in his sermon Sunday. Where or where have I heard this comment before? I guess my preacher is "elite." As I point out, the politics of personal characterizations and smeers comes back to bite. For Steele above, it can be fairly stated that he is either arrogant or deranged. Take your pick.

Posted by: EarlC | April 14, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Edwin --

The guy just keeps on winning.

Random chance only goes so far...

Posted by: svreader | April 14, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

We have not hit bottom in this economic cycle. Profligate spending by the Obama administration means that as soon as we have some hope, our central bank will have to raise interest rates in order to combat inflation. I think that we as individuals and as a country need to start saving more. There is no need to start funding for universal healthcare right now. It sounds like a great idea, but it is not viable. Do you go out and buy a new car right after you buy a house? No! Unless you have no need to worry about the amount of money you spend or borrow, and that is not the attitude that we need out of our government at the moment. The value of the USD will come under fire, and universal healthcare will not save you from the world of hurt that will cause! If you feel the same way, please attend a local tea party that is planned for April 15th and again on July 4th. To find one, go here: http://www.reteaparty.com

Posted by: billd123 | April 14, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

It gets kind of hard to see the trees for the forest.. too many guys (Obama Reps) saying too many words.. I've heard Obama, Gool.., Summers.. and The Brother Gibbs.. it's a lot for one day.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 14, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I give this entry of the Fix an F for attempting to pass off knee jerk partisan hacks as balanced political analysis. Are you kidding me!? Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic effort today.

Posted by: hiberniantears | April 14, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

i like to flip from msnbc to fox to cnn when watching this stuff. when i want real news, i usually tune to pbs...
less bs, more substance.
i give Obama a B+.
good info, just the right amount of let's get happy, but not too happy, and the usual let's get the job done quickly by working together for the common good.
- speeches are still a little preachy and he never mentions the importance of training in the trades - computers are fine but someone has to install and fix the air conditioning.

Posted by: kbtoledo | April 14, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The partisan hackitude of the grading is absurd, but not unexpected. Why not conduct a focus group of political scientists, presidential scholars, historians, policy experts, and the like?

And as for the one comment about how the market went down today...true stupidity. I hate those asinine arguments which cite some temporal correlation and claim causality. Remember post hoc ergo propter hoc?

Posted by: biercuk | April 14, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Let me give another, very relevant reponse to those who missed the President's speech. Remember the Lousiana governor's response to President Obama's address to Congress? Supposedly, Governor Jindal had read Obama's speech and then had crafted his response. It was obvious that Gov. Jindal had not read Obama's speech. If he in fact read the speech and then crafted his response, Jindal deserved a grade of F. Those on the political right who waited to hear Jindal's reponse without hearing Obama had no right to comment about Obama's address.

Posted by: EarlC | April 14, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

repubs are so ignorant and love to spread stupid myths. They are Godless.

Posted by: tuttlegroup | April 14, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I forgot a very important statement in previous posts. If someone has stated the obvious, please excuse my repetition.

Anyone who did not hear the whole speech today should identify such in their response. Personally, I looked at C-SPAN - no breaks, no talking heads, and so forth. If people are making comments after only seeing clips on Fox, MSNBC, and CNN, shame on you. This is akin to learning to be a Christian by using Thomas Jefferson's Bible. Granted that we all have our "news filters." However, to let someone else filter the news before you get it is to severely cripple your ability to make your own analysis. What makes "liberals" somewhat different from many of the "conservatives" is that many liberals are willing to listen to the whole statement. Context is very, very important. When someone gives a clip, the context often suffers.

Even though I have a slightly left of center bias in my own political leanings, I listened to all of Bush's State of the Union messages and many of his once-in-a-great-while primetime statements. It didn't take an Einstein to realize that even focus groups charged with responding to the speeches missed segments of each speech that anyone paying attention would have heard. For example, I heard one person state that Bush said nothing about education. Yet, he spent at least 5 minutes talking about education. Again, the newsperson who was conducting the focus group response did not even attempt to correct the false impression that the focus group member was leaving with the national audience. This just proves my point: one must listen and see for himself as much of an event as possible. To allow your evaluation to be based on incomplete or inadequate data when such information is readily available is folly.

Posted by: EarlC | April 14, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Here's another vote against you inviting professional partisans to trot out their utterly predictable reactions. Heaven knows they have plenty of other venues for that."


What would be interesting to me, as a longteam reader of & contributor to The Fix, is if people offered their own grades & comments on the speech, rather than merely ripping on the ones provided.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 14, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

kbtoledo:

(((i am laughing heartily)))

the proverbial --pointing to a planted person in the audience too...
the pointing must be done...

AND...okay...here's another one.
How many American flags were placed behind him on the podium/stage?
the record, (for the record), is Al Gore with 14 (his final 2000 speech when he conceded)....

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 14, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm soooo tired of the sports-caster model of reporting. This isn't a horse race, it's our lives. If I wanted to see partisans grading a speech, I could do that anywhere (sadly).

I'd rather see an in-depth discussion of the possible impacts each action/proposed action may have on the current financial situation.

Posted by: mataliandy | April 14, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Anybody who bets against the guy is going to lose."

Posted by: svreader

You've sure changed your tune since the primaries. 180 degrees. What gives?

Posted by: edwcorey | April 14, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone catch the speech on FOX "News"? they didn't tint the Pres green like they did to Gore and Obama in the past, and they didn't switch off the signal for six minutes as they did when Gore received the Nobel. But FOX newsfolk did switch almost immediately to reporting on the ship piracy and rescue, treating the Obama speech as incidental news, exactly the way the Republicans played it, like they had all agreed to feign indifference if they couldn't criticize it openly. And of course the Dems loved it, because they have nothing else, either.

Posted by: kbtoledo | April 14, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Anybody who bets against President Obama is going to lose.

The only question is how much and how soon

In Silicon Valley, when you see a CEO like Obamas there's only one question.

"How can I get in on the deal?"

Anybody who bets against the guy is going to lose.

Posted by: svreader | April 14, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Bama seems like a nice guy but......
Too many speeches.
Too much slobbering over the guy.
Can he get Europe to actually fight?
Wasn't there a speech on line item vetos?
What's up with that?
He's going to get us out of Iraq?
That sounds like a Bush timeline.
Actual governing is so much harder than running for president. Good Luck Bama.

Posted by: StJohn1 | April 14, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama and team clearly missed an opportunity here. The President should have had the puppy under one arm, and his attractive and popular wife by the other. Take some pointers from W.: smile more, act like you are glad to see one or two specific people in the audience, and plant to or three people in the audience to ask questions for which you have rehearsed an answer. and stop writing your own speeches. no one wants to hear what you have to say, just tell us what we want to hear. make us feel good about poverty and war, blame big gov't and taxes, and mention the war on terror at least 41 times...

Posted by: kbtoledo | April 14, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

Here's another vote against you inviting professional partisans to trot out their utterly predictable reactions. Heaven knows they have plenty of other venues for that.

Posted by: billmcg1 | April 14, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

There's no use to asking party operatives what they thought of the speech, nor even the semi-professional comment makers that dominate the WaPo comment pages. There was nothing especially new in this speech. But then, the speech wasn't aimed at them.

It was aimed at the 95% of the people out there who AREN'T party operatives or semi-pro comment makers, and was supposed to explain, not convince. The 5% already know Obama's economic intentions (or say they do) and either agree or disagree with them. That same 5% may well be amazed at how little the 95% knows about the big picture economically.

He's done variations of this speech several times already, and he needs to keep on doing it.

Posted by: wkorn | April 14, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This is crap:

"• Republican strategist: Grade C-. "I didn't hear anything new - and it was way too long. And the market dropped 100 points today -- so they don't like it either."

• Democratic Strategist: Grade A. "The rookie explains complex economic issues (like why the lack of effective demand compels government pump-priming) as well as Hall of Famers like Roosevelt, Reagan and Clinton."

Posted by: hiberniantears | April 14, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

good point on the minimum wage.....

another point.....
I saw the new head honcho of GM on one of the sunday talk shows a couple weeks ago.....
and he is a wimp. Big time!

GM is going to fail.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 14, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

drindl:
yes, the teleprompter and the birth certificate.
kinda sorta tells ya where their mindset is.
///
where are the jobs?
any economist (and that means the public should try to as well) understands that jobs are not created over night with a paradiagm shift.
quote-
OBAMA: My administration and Congress boosted demand by passing the largest recovery plan in our nation's history. It's a plan that is already in the process of saving or creating 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. It's putting money directly into people's pockets with a tax cut for 95 percent of working families. It's now showing up in paychecks across America.
And to cushion the blow of this recession, we also provided extended unemployment benefits and continued health-care coverage to Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

what did you think was going to happen - that the Prez was going to open up a donut factory and have every unemployed person in america making donuts.
or that company you work for - that can't make the payroll or pay for your insurance - that the Prez was going to hand deliver a check?

how do you think "these crises" are solved folks?


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 14, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Does the fact that every single Democratic assessment you received gave the speech some form of an A, and every Republican gave a C/incomplete/NA speak to the fact that you asked the opinion of a bunch of bufoonish hacks?

A party line breakdown from partisan operatives is ridiculously unhelpful to your readers. I am partisan. I know what my fellow libs will think, and I know that the GOP analysis will use language that focuses on teleprompters (despite 8 years of Bush... mind boggling!). You couldn't find 12 political scientists with a reputation for objective analysis, and the ability to critique the actual content of the speech?!

Do. Better. Work.

Posted by: hiberniantears | April 14, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The speech was terrific. Putting the current problems in a long-term view.

Chris, your commenters are worthless as many have said. Same on cable today after the speech.

It's a symptom of exactly the problem Obama described, the short-term, short-attention-span, partisan thinking endemic to Washington. It's depressing that none of the media I sampled could find anyone prepared to offer any depth of analysis at all.

Posted by: utec | April 14, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Republican N/A or C and Democrats A.

Ooh - this was very informative - NOT!

Posted by: rlj1 | April 14, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

People here are so friggin closed-minded.

Taking into account the Economy... does anyone really understand what happens when the minimum wage increases again this year?? Positions disappear, and I have a solid example of it.

At a Theater chain in DC, there are some office manager positions that are employed full time at a wage that is a little over the current minimum wage, but not the new and upcoming one. When the minimum wage increase goes into effect, these admin positions will be eliminated, because the theaters cannot afford to keep the position and still pay for the wage increases for their box office, concessions, ticket takers, etc.

Use your imagination of what will happen to other jobs and positions that companies have employed for convienience, but now can't afford continued employment with the large minimum wage jump that is just around the corner.

This ecomomic hit is still to come, but I haven't heard Obama talk about its impact to the economy yet, and how companies can pay for the wage increases in the sour economic times.

Posted by: alutz08 | April 14, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmmm.... your internal polling doesn't tell us anything new. All it says is Democrats are continuing to market Obama as the greatest thing since the wheel and continue to wait with baited breath for his every word. Repubs are not as enthused with the speeches, but not bad mouthing.

Straight on party lines. Where is the real analysis and news for this column Chris??
Is this why the post is continuing to lose money?

Posted by: alutz08 | April 14, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse


when lump sums are given to states - to begin implementation of--anything...
the money is gone with the wind and hardly ever tracked.
this is where the $87,000 area rugs come from.
this is where the salary compensation for your best friend who YOU got the job for comes from.
this is where the private planes and new jaguars come from.

one example. where did your state's money for No Child Left Behind go?
every state was funded 350 billion and more.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 14, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf

Dangerous rightwing extremism on the rise -- report from Homeland Security.

Posted by: drindl | April 14, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"• John McLaughlin, Republican pollster: Grade C. "Beginning to bore and wear out teleprompter. "

Like others here, I'm simply amazed that apparently the entire republican party has a fixation with teleprompters--it's that group mind thing again.

Sadly, they continue to more and more closely resemble stale Stalinism all the time.

Posted by: drindl | April 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Why oh why can't you people use independent experts rather than paid political hacks? Who cares what Democrat or Republican strategists claim to think? They are paid to bolster their side. We know what they are going to say. Especially the Republicans. If Obama walked on water and brought heaven to earth, they'd find something trivial to hyperventilate about.

Posted by: mhwebster | April 14, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

*yawn*

The Democratic partisans liked it. The Republican partisans hated it.

*yawn*

I know this is a political blog, but how about asking some economists?

Posted by: DDAWD | April 14, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I didn't hear the speech but if I were framing the issue it would be: a) Health care b) correcting the deficiencies in our food supply c) upgrade K-12 education d) controlling the southern border to protect our children from drugs and e) funding extensive renewable energy projects to free us from dependence on unstable parts of the world.
Also:
Recreating the consortiums formed under the Clinton Administration and disband under Bush to improve manufacturing. Building the proper dams and levees to be able to retain and channel water from flooded areas into those experiencing extreme drought.

Posted by: agapn9 | April 14, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

sperrico writes
"Obama could help bankrupt local governments and agencies by temporarily employing the out-of-work."

In my city, Minneapolis, the mayor announced several weeks ago that a bunch of cops were going to keep their jobs because of stimulus funding. Is that the kind of employment you're talking about? Also locally, to Minnesota, the Dept of Transportation announced this week which construction projects would be happening. Many were added to the list due to the Fed stimulus money. That creates jobs. In short, I think the president is trying to do exactly what you say he hasn't done.

More importantly, he's talking about also making systemic changes that nudge our economy back towards a sustainable mode - where more innovation is happening in the US, promoting US exports. The goal is to reverse the recent trend of the US as a consuming nation, sending our dollars overseas to import stuff we don't make here.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 14, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

The reality is that President Obama continues to be the President we need - the one who tells us the truth, the challenges, and how he plans to deal with them.

Meanwhile the insane deadenders in the Republicant party are obsessed with tea-bagging ... I guess most of them still haven't come out of the closet ...

Posted by: WillSeattle | April 14, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

From this middle-aged, retired educator, I give the President an A on his speech. He was articulate, appropriately paced, and dealt fairly with the criticisms of the opposition while laying out his rationale for his programs. Never before have I heard such a powerful presentation by a sitting President, and he did it all in about 45 minutes.

Contrary to the spoutings of the opposition, if the opposition does not start presenting ideas rather than personal attacks, it will continue to sink in the polls.

President Obama shows more and more each day why he is exactly the President that we need at this time. I have heard more from McCain and Palin lately. I cannot imagine where we would be with these two in control. God is so good to America. He allowed us to get the President that the religious right wanted. Now he has allowed us to elect a President that we do not deserve, but I think God has bigger plans for us and needed someone that could measure up to the task. Let the religious right and the neocons continue their bad-mouthing, they are the ones who are missing out on the truly remarkable time that we are passing through.

Again, the President gave a lesson on how to disagree without being disagreeable. He continues to speak in a nonpartisam way. He said nothing that shuts the door on debate or discussion with anyone. He is truly a gentleman, a scholar, and a statesman.

Posted by: EarlC | April 14, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

More of the same, to say, nothing of value. Mr. Obama has not yet shown he can even grasp the complexity of the issues with which he is charged to solve. Mr. Obama remains a second-rate politician, and third-rate thinker. Very sad but certainly not unexpected.

Posted by: kondrek | April 14, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The president's speech was great and meaningless.

Remember Where is the beef?
Well where are the jobs?

4 billion was given to states to train and retrain Americans for jobs.

Unfortunately no one told the states what jobs Americans should be trained for.

Any job using a computer from software development to simple data entry are not available to Americans since cheap foreign labor is being used here or abroad. The latest is legal work is being sent to Indian lawyers in India. In two years there will be probably requests for visas for Indian lawyers.

Jobs in construction work is not available since the cheap labor of 12 million illegal aliens is already being used for these jobs.

The problems of America is not the excesses of the burst bubble but the fact that it appears that there are no jobs for Americans in the twenty first century.

Instead of building the economy on a rock, the economy has to be built on jobs.

Great speech but meaningless.

Posted by: bsallamack | April 14, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

No one cares what Republicans "think" and no one will for many years. They still have no idea how deep their hole is and yet... they just keep on digging.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 14, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Instead of shoveling billions ans billions and billions of taxpayer dollars to banks that need billions and billions of more dollars Obama could help bankrupt local governments and agencies by temporarily employing the out-of-work. But then no county is going to make Obama worth $200 million dollars in eight years. Only international banks can do that.

Posted by: sperrico | April 14, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA NEEDS TO ALLAY 'FASCISM' FEARS


POTUS should have addressed the very real and legitimate concern of many Americans...

...from lib-progressives to conservatives...

...that private enterprise is compromised by heavy-handed intrusion by federal officials and agents...

...such as forced cooperation provisions of the Patriot Act.


***


FROM TODAY'S WASHINGTON TIMES (4/13):


The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in "right-wing extremist activity," saying the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

SCRIVENER'S COMMENT THAT WOULD NOT POST TO WA-TIMES STORY:


Homeland Security should start by reforming from within.

There is strong evidence that DHS-funded civilian volunteer programs such as Citizen Corps, Infragard and USA on Watch are front organizations for organized community "gang stalker" extremists who "target" their fellow citizens -- with the apparent knowledge and tacit approval of both federal and local agencies.


Read this:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame
http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 14, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm a bit biased (who isn't) but I would have to say it was a great speech with no solutions. Some of the same old political rhetoric we've heard for years on social security and health care with no clear way to fix them.

I did find it interesting that the stock market reaction was losses. The only thing that that caught going up was when I was watching the tracking widget http://www.learcapital.com/exactprice during the speech and I could see gold rising the more the President spoke.

Tells me a lot of investors are very concerned and placing some of their wealth in the yellow metal and banking on inflation.

Posted by: haljett | April 14, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

sperrico writes
"No solutions that put the unemployed to work soon."

What solutions for addressing unemployment would you have preferred to see?

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 14, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Grade C-
The President's oration is old already. No solutions that put the unemployed to work soon.

Posted by: sperrico | April 14, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I agree with FairlingtonBlade.

Posted by: phlap | April 14, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

i am definitely loving this speech....
to quote:
Others were tricked into signing these subprime loans by lenders who were trying to make a quick profit. The reason these loans were so readily available was that Wall Street saw big profits to be made. Investment banks would buy and package together these questionable mortgages into securities, arguing that by pooling the mortgages, the risks had somehow been reduced. And credit agencies that are supposed to help investors determine the soundness of various investments stamped the securities with their safest rating when they should have been labeled "buyer beware."

And no one really knew what the actual value of these securities were.

No one fully understood what the risks were. But since the housing market was booming and prices were rising, banks and investors just kept buying and selling them, always passing off the risk to someone else for a greater profit without having to take any of the ultimate responsibility.

Banks took on more debt than they could handle. The government- chartered companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose traditional mandate was to help support traditional mortgages, decided to get in on the action by buying and holding billions of dollars of these securities.

AIG, the biggest insurer in the world -- had a very traditional insurance business that was very profitable -- decided to make profits suddenly by selling billions of dollars of complicated financial instruments that supposedly insured these securities.

Everybody was making record profits. Except the wealth created was real only on paper

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 14, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Chris- I agree, with another poster surely there was someone among the folks you checked with that could've given this a B. For that matter I missed your grade, what was that? As long as the nation continues to put ideology above the national welfare we aren't going to get anywhere. While it would be nice to blame the Republicans entirely for the standstill- I live in the ever inept Eric Cantor's district- gag - a BIG share of the blame rests with Pelosi and Ried and they simply have to stop thinking about how to pull a fast one on the Republicans and as Barry said, roll up their sleevs and get to work. As a Democrat I have been hugely disappointed in Pelosi- I had such high hopes for her.

Posted by: slmdarien | April 14, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"And the market dropped 100 points today -- so they don't like it either."

What insight and analysis! An expert on the market as well as politics. I guess he would give the Prez high marks for the last 6 weeks then, with stocks up 23%.

Posted by: sollazo | April 14, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

While the partisan nature of the focus groupies' comments is predictable, the vehicle is an interesting one that The Fix should continue to experiment with (particularly if it replaces 'hyperfix').

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 14, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I did not listen to this particular speech. But the value of official comments on the economy at this point are mostly in the nature of ministering to emotional needs. It sounds like the speech did a reasonable job in that task. The most likely state of our economy is that the most rapid phase of contraction is behind us. To some extent there likely was some downward overshoot during that phase that is currently being corrected. But there are also many who are still in denial about the magnitude of our economic problems and who still imagine that they will prove to be transitory. The current expression of their optimism in economic decisions is likely to have disappointing results. It is clearly the job of leaders to look toward the bright side but also to express expectations that have some level of reality. Obama seems to have done that. But this year and even next year are likely to be filled with unemployment worse than it is now and unstable markets. Only time will tell if we have already seen the bottom of stock market prices, how long it takes for the global economy to adjust to new realities, and what kind of new equilbrium our economy finds.

Posted by: dnjake | April 14, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought that the teleprompter and the comparison to the Dow Jones daily change was just a line of criticisms from empty thinking GOP bloggers, but it seems that 'strategists' that work for the national party use the same thing. No wonder the grand old party isn't so grand anymore.

There has got to be some smart GOPers out there who can give a real balanced criticism, why don't you ask some of them, same goes for the Democratic response, BTW. I don't really care what the chearleaders think.

Posted by: AndyR3 | April 14, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

is that the "right wing extremist" story?

//
i'm reading the speech, slowly.
another thing the repulsives don't like.
Our President is actually EXPLAINING to the american people, in laymen's terms- what has happened, what took place, and what will take place.
no wonder repulsives grade it only C(s)....
You know darn well republicans would rather keep you in the dark about the issues so they can "take you".
They are very good at "telling you what's wrong and who to blame for it".....

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 14, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse


repulsives never will commend---
they always condemn because they think they are gods.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 14, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Hi Chris,

Is anyone at the Post following this Homeland Security Report SNAFU on Drudge right now? I have not been able to access the Washington Times story all morning, so I'm guessing the story must be causing thousands of hits to bury their servers.

Cheers,

Packard

Posted by: pgould1 | April 14, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The President did exactly what he needed to do, begin the process of educating America on why we are facing such challenges. While there was no poetry, he spoke in a way that held my interest. He'll need to do this again and again, but the first stab was an A.

Posted by: Tony163 | April 14, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The Fix needs some honest graders. A from Democrats, C from Republicans. That's a rating of the pollster's political leanings, not the speech.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | April 14, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

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