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The Magic is Gone

Listened to the State of the Union. I think President Obama does much better as an aspirant than an established politician. He’s not as eloquent when he has to speak to specific political situations, compared to when he can just speak in the lofty and abstract. This past year, the people that supported him have expected him to live up to the lofty rhetoric, and he’s not been able to deliver. He seemed to have moments where he was prepared to admit that, but not too much, you know.

I’ve become increasingly convinced Obama is no Bill Clinton. My disagreements with Clinton on many specific policy issues, including and especially related to the topics this blog covers, are fairly profound. But Clinton had a raw political talent that has been matched in my lifetime only by Ronald Reagan. I don’t believe Obama is capable of triangulating in the face of defeat in the way Bill Clinton did.

My impression of President Obama’s State of the Union Address was that it was doubling down on the concept of him. At this point, pretty clearly that’s neither the “hope” nor “change” many people voted for. If he doesn’t learn quickly, this will not end well for the Democratic Party.

5 Responses to “The Magic is Gone”

  1. Lucky Forward says:

    The historian Tacitus said of the obscure Roman emperor, Galba: “All would have pronounced him worthy of empire, if he had never been emperor.” I’ve always had some other choice pronouncements for Obama (“Marxist” being one of the mildest ones), but that fact that he obviously considers our great republic his personal lab experiment troubles me no end.

  2. mikeb302000 says:

    I thought it was a wonderful speech. It made me think all the talk about his turning out to be a one-term president is so much wishful thinking.

    Maybe you and your friends should start stocking up again. He’ll probably come after the guns in the second term.

  3. Miguel says:

    I did not watch the SOTU address, I just can’t stomach political rhetoric from either side anymore. I have watched past speeches and he reminds me of a polished Hugo Chavez (and yes, I speak Spanish and suffered Chavez’s speeches so I can make the comparison)
    Both are ego maniacal (The constant use of I-Me-Mine) and love to blame everybody but themselves for their shortfalls. Lots of flash but little substance. They are never wrong. They are good at seducing the masses and other political operatives, but once the cherry is popped, they must brute force to dominate the operatives and plain ignore the people. One is Bugsy Malone and the other is Lucky Luciano…. thugs with different styles but thugs at the end.

  4. Mike w. says:

    My impression of President Obama’s State of the Union Address was that it was doubling down on the concept of him. At this point, pretty clearly that’s neither the “hope” nor “change” many people voted for. If he doesn’t learn quickly, this will not end well for the Democratic Party.

    I got the impression from his speech that he hasn’t yet learned. He still seems to think he can (and should) push through what he wants simply because he wants it. He kept calling the Republicans out for not “coming together” when of course they are just doing what their constitutents want by opposing this healthcare bill.

    In a way I understand his problem. Healthcare will be his legacy and so he can’t back down. That and he’s a narcissist.

  5. Dave R. says:

    Yeah, I never thought I’d miss Bill Clinton, but his combination of political talent and instinct for self-preservation looks good in comparison to Obama. His triangulation after 1994 got us a pretty decent welfare reform package. And something more arcane, reading between the lines Alan Greenspan seems to claim in his book that he basically blackmailed Clinton with the fiscal reality and consequences of doing everything Clinton originally wanted. I haven’t seen that proven, but I haven’t seen it denied by any Clinton partisans either. Obama seems determined to spend us into hyper-inflation before bowing to reality.

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