Cuba's Fidel Castro used to speak for four hours at a time. The worse Cuba's economy performed the longer Fidel talked. Obama, always a fan of revolutionary chic must be following this model. He's now traveling the country in what is billed as yet another "campaign style" series of speeches on the economy and the usual time per speech is averaging an hour or more.
ABC News, in reporting this latest effort headlined the story as "Obama pivots to the economy...again." MSNBC's Chuck Todd termed this "Deja pivot" and one analyst counts this as pivot #19. You'd think with all that practice Obama might actually figure out that what's needed is not another speech, but some actual presidential leadership. But no....
Like so many other Obama speeches, this latest gab fest is recycled rhetoric. You might call it Obama's favorite hits. It's the same speech on a different day. News media reviews are not good:
- “White House Officials Said The Three Speeches Will Not Offer New Proposals Or Approaches.” The Washington Post, 7/21/13
- The Speeches Will Simply “Repackage” Obama’s Old Ideas. The New York Times, 7/22/13
- “Senior Administration Officials On Monday Conceded That The President Was Partly To Blame For The Washington Conversation Veering Away From The Economic Issues That Many Americans Believe Are The Most Important.”The New York Times, 7/22/13
Here's a sample:
OBAMA: When middle-class families have less to spend, guess what, businesses have fewer consumers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther and farther apart, it undermines the very essence of America -- that idea that if you work hard you can make it here."Phony scandals"? Tell that to the families of the four Americans murdered in Benghazi, Libya last fall. We still don't know what really happened and why. And is the IRS scandal "phony" too? When the scandal first broke Obama was first in line expressing his anger and outrage and pledged to work "hand in hand with Congress" to get to the bottom of it. Now that the origin of the scandal may trace back to the White House all of a sudden it's no big deal?
And that’s why reversing these trends has to be Washington’s highest priority. (Applause.) It has to be Washington's highest priority. (Applause.) It’s certainly my highest priority. (Applause.)
Unfortunately, over the past couple of years, in particular, Washington hasn’t just ignored this problem; too often, Washington has made things worse.
But with this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop. (Applause.) This needs to stop.
This moment does not require short-term thinking. It does not require having the same old stale debates. Our focus has to be on the basic economic issues that matter most to you, the people we represent. That’s what we have to spend our time on and our energy on and our focus on.
What's really galling about Obama's speech was his demand that making things better for the middle class was "Washington's highest priority. It’s certainly my highest priority." When all he's put in place are job killing policies and regulation that kill jobs (ObamaCare, opposition to Keystone Pipeline) and other policies which favor his rich Wall Street contributors.
A few paragraphs later Obama admits that his focus hasn't always been, nor will it be, on the middle class:
We’ll keep pressing on other key priorities. I want to get this immigration bill done. We still need to work on reducing gun violence. (Applause.) We’ve got to continue to end the war in Afghanistan, rebalance our fight against al Qaeda. (Applause.) We need to combat climate change. We’ve got to standing up for civil rights. We’ve got to stand up for women’s rights.If Obama was really serious about focusing most on the economic issues that matter to the "people we represent" he would agree to a full suspension of ObamaCare and drop the laundry list of liberal goodies outlined in the paragraph above that only serve to divide the nation.
More than anything else, if Obama were really serious about getting something done by working with the Republicans he's stop using them as campaign fodder and stay in Washington and actually do the job to which he was elected. But even on those RARE events when he does meet with Republicans, he can't seem to shake off campaign mode long enough to actually lead let alone govern.
We're stuck with a President who only knows how to attack and campaign. The harder qualities of leadership and true compromise evade him and his followers. That bodes ill for most Americans but especially the middle class who have been hardest hit by Obama's liberal policies. Whether it's higher energy prices because Obama favors green energy, higher health costs, fewer jobs and cutbacks in hours because of ObamaCare the middle class is paying the biggest price for Obama's re-election!
The last thing a struggling middle class needed was another long winded speech from the man who has done so much to put them in their current bind!