Quotes of the day

posted at 8:18 pm on September 7, 2012 by Allahpundit

Barack Obama is deeply overexposed and often boring. He never seems to be saying what he’s thinking. His speech Thursday was weirdly anticlimactic. There’s too much buildup, the crowd was tired, it all felt flat. He was somber, and his message was essentially banal: We’ve done better than you think. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

There were many straw men. There were phrases like “the shadow of a shuttered steel mill,” which he considers writerly. But they sound empty and practiced now, like something you’ve heard in a commercial or an advertising campaign.

It was stale and empty. He’s out of juice.

***

The problem with President Obama’s dud of a convention speech isn’t that it deflated his supporters (it didn’t), or that it made Bill Clinton look good (it did). The problem is that it stepped on the message. And for that reason, Democrats may come out of their convention no better than Republicans came out of theirs…

But he couldn’t pull it off. He promised a speech heavy on policy specifics, but what he delivered was largely the same positions he’s been peddling for the last four years (investing in education! renewable energy!), with little emphasis on how he would address the nation’s persistent unemployment. Combined with Friday morning’s disappointing jobs report, that left the messaging effort without its essential capstone. Convention-watchers may have been left feeling like they like the president and think he’s tried to do the right thing, but he just doesn’t have a firm handle on the way forward. With each new sign that the economy is treading water or worse, the Democrats’ plea for patience gets harder to take. The idea that things are turning around snd all we have to do is cross our fingers and wait gets less and less credible.

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“Safe speech,” one underwhelmed Democratic strategist told POLITICO. “It’s kind of like you ask someone out on a date, and [at the end] they say, ‘Oh, he’s nice.’”…

Two Democrats with close ties to the Obama campaign, who were familiar with the thinking that went into the address, said the goal was essentially to bring Obama back to earth in terms of how he’s viewed by voters. The Democrats said the campaign believed Obama would get hit hard if he looked to score rhetorical points and so the president instead went more for pragmatism. The campaign is feeling, despite the criticisms, pretty good about the outcome, said the Democrats…

Had Obama gone for soaring, Schwartz said, he would have run the risk of failing to connect with the real difficulties some voters still face and missed the opportunity to explain the steps he took to stabilize and strengthen the economy.

***

It was said of Bernard Baruch’s rhetorical style, “Even a platitude dropped from a sufficiently great height can sound like a brick.” In Charlotte, Obama dropped such bricks instead of balloons…

Obama made almost no mention of the continuing jobs crisis. He offered nothing new or creative on a fiscal and debt crisis that undermines economic confidence. Much of Obama’s agenda — lowering tuition costs, recruiting math and science teachers, “long-lasting batteries” — sounded like a seventh-year State of the Union address, a collection of policy leavings and leftovers. One of Obama’s more ardent defenders called this a “return to normalcy after a long period of emergency.” And so Obama has gone in four years from being compared to Abraham Lincoln to carrying forward the legacy of Warren Harding.

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As he laid out his case for re-election, Obama struggled with a basic underlying question: What happened to all that hope from his 2008 campaign? Obama knows that his actual record as president leaves many voters uninspired, and certainly not filled with hope. So early in the speech, he sought to redefine hope — to define it down — into something that fits his purposes now…

Perhaps the most striking thing about Obama’s speech was that it did not emphasize the most urgent concern of the greatest number of voters: the continuing unemployment crisis. It’s the most glaring weakness in Obama’s record, and he chose simply not to address it in a systematic way. Perhaps that had something to do with the fact that the government would release new jobs numbers less than twelve hours after the president’s speech. More likely it was because Obama doesn’t really know what to say about the problem.

***

We’re dangerously close to Jimmy Carter territory here. First, there’s the boast (“You elected me to tell you the truth”) disguised as an expression of humility (“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy”). Later, I actually winced when Obama humblebragged, “And while I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, ‘I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.’” Just because our greatest president was a bit depressive, that doesn’t mean we want the present one to lacerate himself over his failures, and we certainly don’t want to hear him tell us about it. The mention of FDR only served to remind us of how different, temperamentally, Obama is from the Democratic party’s “happy warrior” tradition. Worst of all, though, was Obama’s statement that “not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.” It combined an opportunistic (and probably insincere) echo of Bill Clintons irritating pronouncement in 1996 that “the era of big government is over” (which wasn’t even true) with a hint of Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech assertion that the country’s crisis of confidence was too big a problem for a president to solve on his own. Even when it’s true that the fault lies in our selves, not in our stars, who wants to hear it from the country’s biggest star?

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The first idea, that of “citizenship,” is a quintessentially American idea, and Obama is right to have picked up on these themes from our history. Yet he turned them into partisan tropes last night. After all, both sides agree with these basic premises – the real debate is what comes next. Hamiltonians have one answer and modern progressives have another. The implication of his speech last night was that progressives have a monopoly on these values, and that opposition to their economic and social program is somehow inconsistent with them…

There has been a growing polarization in this country over the last few decades that moves beyond matters of simple partisan support. Increasingly, it seems, one side of this great divide views the other side as somehow illegitimate. No leader since at least Richard Nixon has done more to exacerbate this dangerous tension. By inevitably redrafting shared values as Democratic ones, he feeds the impulse on the left that the right is un-American, he infuriates the right for what are vicious insults, and he leaves those in the middle of the country scratching their heads.

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President Barack Obama didn’t give a particularly good acceptance speech Thursday night, but for the thousands in the arena it didn’t matter one bit. They were here to see him more than listen to him, to communicate their love to him (often by bursting forth with “I LOVE YOU!!”s) more than hear about his plans for the next four years. The last five minutes of the speech was a festival of hollering back, of responding not to Obama’s frequently inaudible remarks but to the rising timbre of his voice. I think it’s impossible to understand the ongoing appeal of this odd and embattled president without grappling with the notion that he is an essentially religious figure

The Democrats are selling themselves in 2012 as the party that simply cares more. They feel your pain, only this time it’s not a snicker-worthy campaign ploy from a slick southern politician; it’s a governing creed. Simply by virtue of being more empathetic, they will produce better policies and outcomes, particularly those that affect the identity groups within the Democratic coalition: women, Hispanics, blacks, the gay and lesbian community.

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Comment pages: 1 5 6 7

KOOLAID2 on September 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:22 AM

FWIW

Just for the record, and so I stop getting these e-mails, csdeven and bluegill post from entirely different IP addresses.

Ed Morrissey on February 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Still not buying it.

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:44 AM

ajacksonian on September 8, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Always appreciate your comments as they are informative and I always learn from them.

bluefox on September 8, 2012 at 10:38 AM

^THIS^ goes for me too, ajacksonian.

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Me neither.

kingsjester on September 8, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Still not buying it.

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I used to think they were one and the same also, until one day they both posted a comment on the same thread with the same timestamp.

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM

LOL! Sorry it’s hard to believe there are two people that similar. csdeven was close to self destructing so at least we only have one.

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:54 AM

csdeven was back posting a couple of weeks ago. He/she was actually pleasant and rational.

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:58 AM

JPeterman on September 7, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Sorry I didn’t get a chance to reply last night, but if you see this, I give you a very heartfelt welcome.

Yours is a very compelling story and I also commend you for setting straight those American-born complainers and whiners when you tell them about your background living under Communism. They should shut up and be ashamed — if that’s possible — that they are seemingly too obtuse to realize that it’s infinitely better here.

PatriotGal2257 on September 8, 2012 at 11:04 AM

But what are we talking about? Sarah Palin..a politician who did not even run for the nomination.
Terrye on September 8, 2012 at 3:01 AM

Just to clarify Terrye, “We” weren’t discussing Palin. bluegill evidently trolls threads for any mention of Palin. A comment was made just in passing here: Can.I.be.in.the.middle on September 7, 2012 at 11:36 PM
No one replied to it.

bluegill started this when replying to that comment: bluegill on September 8, 2012 at 12:39 AM

bluegill is the one “obsessed with Palin.”

bluefox on September 8, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Allah, where’d you find a color photo of Frank Marshall Davis with a halo?

Akzed on September 8, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Just for the record, and so I stop getting these e-mails, csdeven and bluegill post from entirely different IP addresses. Ed Morrissey on February 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

How’s he do that?

Akzed on September 8, 2012 at 11:24 AM

There are several ways to set up multiple IP addresses on a computer:

1. To have multiple network interface cards (NICs) on your computer and to assign a different IP address to each card.
2. To assign multiple IP addresses to a single NIC.
3. To combine 2 previous options: have multiple NICs with multiple IPs assigned to one or more of them.

By default, each network interface card (NIC) has its own unique IP address. However, you can assign multiple IP addresses to a single NIC.

kingsjester on September 8, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Palm Beach County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Siegel Has Resigned Over Anti-Christian Comments

Good riddance!

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Read what he had said. What a nasty comment.

O/T While on that site, I saw this:

Restore Justice Releases Supreme Court Report Card To Grassroots Supporters Statewide

Link: http://www.floridapoliticalpress.com/2012/09/04/restore-justice-releases-supreme-court-report-card-to-grassroots-supporters-statewide/

Very interesting that this is available to the voters.

bluefox on September 8, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Allah, where’d you find a color photo of Frank Marshall Davis with a halo?

Akzed on September 8, 2012 at 11:23 AM

LOL

bluefox on September 8, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Me neither.

kingsjester on September 8, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Maybe someone needs to ask Ed where DarkCurrent’s IP address comes from.

Lanceman on September 8, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Lanceman on September 8, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Heh.

kingsjester on September 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Lanceman on September 8, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I thought he was in China?

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Maybe someone needs to ask Ed where DarkCurrent’s IP address comes from.

Lanceman on September 8, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Right now it would probably appear to be 216.131.73.44, geolocated in the Bay Area.

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Wait, now it appears to be 61.171.165.108.

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:58 AM

I have agreed with he/she/it on numerous occasions but he/she/it will remain on my ignore list forever due to the atrocious treatment of one commenter here at Hot Air. I can forgive but I can’t forget.

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Now it seems to be 216.131.123.64…

How do I do that???

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I thought he was in China?

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I am, but I can appear to be elsewhere.

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

You are magic! I like that!

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

How do I do that???

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:07 PM

How did you do that? Are you a panfish, mr. seven?

Lanceman on September 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Remarkable…

kingsjester on September 8, 2012 at 12:19 PM

You are magic! I like that!

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

How did you do that?

Lanceman on September 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Through the magic of VPN, a required accessory of expats.

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:19 PM

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:19 PM

I know that we probably have too many misconceptions of China but if you felt you needed to come back to the US is that easy?

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I know that we probably have too many misconceptions of China but if you felt you needed to come back to the US is that easy?

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 12:27 PM

They threaten to send me back all the time ;)

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM

There are hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens in the US at any given time. Most are students and business travelers, but increasingly just tourists.

In almost all cases if you can afford the ticket and get a visa to the destination you can go.

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 12:39 PM

KOOLAID2 on September 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:22 AM

FWIW

Just for the record, and so I stop getting these e-mails, csdeven and bluegill post from entirely different IP addresses.

Ed Morrissey on February 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Log in from your phone; Log in from your laptop; Type your message; Type your message; Hit enter; Hit enter.

All done. :/

Definitely a weird csdevin/joanna/bluegill complex in the universe. I wish I had time to write up an analysis program for fun, but I don’t … I’m pretty sure you could take the set of all comments and compare them for similar structures and get a probability. Kinda like trying to figure out if Shakespeare wrote a doubtful play, or finding out which parts he wrote.

Anyway, if they really are three people, they need to party together.

csdeven was back posting a couple of weeks ago. He/she was actually pleasant and rational.

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Always liked csdevin. The deal is “Obsessive,” which I can see at a distance and forgive pretty easily. And I have been trying to make room for the woman and the fish, just in case — but I keep snapping at them. The fixation on Palin is bizarre.

Axe on September 8, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I hope nobody already posted this.

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 1:35 AM

lol

Axe on September 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

You try commeting using a 3.5″ iPod screen.

bluegill on September 8, 2012 at 8:31 AM

You’re still not sober, or not very bright, and free to be so.

Schadenfreude on September 8, 2012 at 12:59 PM

lol

Axe on September 8, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I know you bookmarked it.

DarkCurrent on September 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

KOOLAID2 on September 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Cindy Munford on September 8, 2012 at 10:22 AM

FWIW

Just for the record, and so I stop getting these e-mails, csdeven and bluegill post from entirely different IP addresses.

Ed Morrissey on February 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Flora Duh on September 8, 2012 at 10:43 AM

…my neighbor has three separate IP addresses…said he is doing two more…and?

KOOLAID2 on September 8, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Racism alert!!! I’ve read the Jawa Report enough to know a racist comment when I see it.

“It was stale and empty. He’s out of juice.” He’s talking about Jews!

Kevin M on September 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

The cult of personality has not ended. Remember, if more dumb people than smart people vote, Democrats win. I think they will, and the country is in deep, deep do-do.

georgeofthedesert on September 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Comment pages: 1 5 6 7