Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on July 24, 2013 by Allahpundit

A new poll finds President Obama’s approval rating dropping to its lowest level in nearly two years, and near his all-time low.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released late Tuesday finds Obama with 45 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval…

Voters gave Obama low marks on the economy, with 51 percent disapproving of his handling and 45 percent approving.

***

President Obama will once again try to refocus the public’s attention and the political debate on the economy on Wednesday, delivering what’s being billed as a major economic address in his home state of Illinois.

The White House is trying to drum up support for the speech, but it’s a tough sell, given how often the president has launched similar campaigns in recent years.

Republican critics claim the president has publicly pivoted back to the economy numerous times, but to little avail. “Tomorrow the president says he’s going to go out and pivot back to jobs. Well, welcome to the conversation Mr. President,” House Speaker John Boehner mockingly told reporters at the Capitol today. “If the president was serious about helping our economy, he wouldn’t give another speech. He’d reach out and actually work with us.”

***

White House officials say this will show Obama’s consistency. “We plead guilty to the charge that there is a thematic continuity that exists between the speech the president will give in Galesburg, at Knox College on Wednesday, and his speech in Osawatomie [Kansas, in 2011] and his speech back at Knox College in 2005,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Yes, but this also risks sending the signal that, just six months into his second term, Obama is fresh out of ideas. There’s little hope of getting Congress to act on major initiatives and little appetite in the White House to fight for bold new legislation that is likely to fail. And so the president, it seems, is going into reruns…

I admire Pfeiffer’s pluck in trying to generate enthusiasm for what is largely a news-free initiative. And it’s smart politics for Obama to keep his emphasis on economic matters. But it would be easier to rally enthusiasm if he gave supporters something big, bold and new to reach for, rather than leftover proposals coupled with lofty ideals.

***

Instead what the speech seemed designed to do is to re-state the arguments that worked during the campaign for Obama in hopes of framing the coming government shutdown and debt ceiling debates on friendly political ground for the President and Congressional Democrats. He did so more pointedly than he had in the past and with more urgency as well, pledging to spend the next several weeks touring the country — he will stop in Florida and Missouri later this week — making the case.

The Obama speech then wasn’t really about trying to ensure any near-term forward movement. Instead it was about positioning — both for the policy fights to come this fall and for the midterm elections next November.

In the near term, all sides know it won’t change a thing. Which may be as depressing a statement on how Washington works as any we’ve heard in a while.

***

A look even further back suggests a remarkable stability in Obama’s numbers on the economy. In October 2010, just before Republicans won 63 House seats to reclaim the majority, 44 percent of Americans approved of Obama’s approach to the economy in Post-ABC polling. Go back a year before that — December 2009 — and Obama’s economic approval is 46 percent.

The numbers simply don’t move — or, if they do, they quickly snap back. No speech — no matter how eloquent or well delivered — can or should be expected to change that dynamic.

By this point in his presidency, most people have made their minds up — about Obama and about how he is doing on the economy. Speeches won’t change those minds. Then again, nothing else will, either.

***

In response to President Obama’s speech today on the state of the economy, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said:

Today President Obama rehashed essentially the same economic speech we’ve heard for years: more government programs, more taxes. He’s out of ideas to fix the economy, and unwilling to do what it takes to remedy the harm his policies are inflicting.

Since the President took office, the average rate of annual economic growth has been a paltry 0.9 percent, compared to the historically normal rate of 3.3 percent. If President Obama truly cared about sparking economic growth and bringing opportunity to the American people, he would join the growing chorus of elected leaders calling for full defund of Obamacare – the single strongest step government can take to unshackle jobs, investment, and growth again in America.

***

If you didn’t watch, here’s the short version: All the stuff he favored before? He’s still in favor of it. And he’s irritated that Republicans are blocking him from doing all the things he still wants to do.

I say “stuff” because that’s roughly as specific as Obama got. This was a policy-light speech, heavy on broad ideas, but incredibly light on details or plans, particularly new ones. (Indeed, in that sense, it was practically Romneyesque.) Instead, it was a preview of the economic themes Obama has in mind for the remainder of his second term: inequality, education, economic stagnation—and, most of all, congressional gridlock and inaction…

There isn’t, in other words, much he can do—or at least not much he can do that he also wants to do. And in Obama’s view, that seems to be the real problem. The speech was billed as a big reveal of the administration’s economic agenda—the New York Times preview article this morning was headlined “Obama Plans to Unveil his Agenda for Economy”—but in many ways it was just an extended complaint about presidential powerlessness in the face of political opposition. What it actually revealed was the president doesn’t have much of an agenda, except old ideas that have already failed to go anywhere. So in place of new policy ideas, he gave a speech blaming Republicans. That’s politics, and it will probably please many of the president’s supporters. But it’s not likely to weaken congressional opposition. If anything, this speech was a recipe for more gridlock, not less.

***

Whatever you make of these ideas in general, they are unserious policy prescriptions for a stagnant economy. If the president was earnest about moving forward, he could have offered some sort of regulatory slowdown, or reprieve for small businesses, or a pipeline even. Instead, the GOP was presented with a grab bag of progressive hobbyhorses that he knows well have no chance of going anywhere. And isn’t that the point? Keep your heel on the throat of the obstructionists and win the politics of the day. The House and White House are ready to battle over the debt ceiling and budget and that’s all his speech was about…

And Republicans offer no inspiring alternative. It is incomprehensible that the GOP hasn’t devised some palpable and bold 10-step economic plan (with some nifty title like “A Better Bargain”) that deals with crony capitalism, government overreach and economic growth. Even before the speech was given, Eric Cantor’s office was touting Republican alternatives to Obama’s non-plan. 1 – Urge the Democratic controlled Senate to join the House and Pass a Job Training Bill. 2 – Approve the Keystone Pipeline. 3 – Support the Bipartisan Effort to Expand Offshore Domestic Energy Production.

Seriously? That’s it? All fine ideas that won’t inspire many voters. Obama says things like “The basic bargain of this country says that if you work hard, you can get ahead — you can build a secure life for your family, and know that your kids will do even better someday” and all Republicans can think of is to demand that the Senate pass a jobs training program? It’s quite a feat to be staler than the president, but it seems the GOP is up for the challenge. A free-market economy made that bargain possible, not a government-funded solar panel plant. Most people probably still get it. Obama has presided – and in many ways extended — the worst recovery in American history. He’s out of ideas. Republicans aren’t going to get a better chance to make their economic case. If they ever bother coming up with one.

***

***

“We’ve got to set our eyes on the horizon. We will find an ocean of tomorrows. We will find a sky of tomorrows for the American people and for this great country that we love.”


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Frankly I’m disappointed in Obama and his speech writers.

Where is that ‘soaring rhetoric’ we’ve all come to know and … well…

Where is the stuff like ‘the Earth will begin to heal’ … and… ‘the oceans will begin to fall’?

Where is the stuff about transforming the nation?

or…

Is that no longer the plan?

Where is our PEP TALK!

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:18 AM

VorDaj on July 25, 2013 at 2:16 AM

He’ll love that. Thanks for posting it. :)

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:19 AM

SparkPlug on July 25, 2013 at 2:13 AM

lol! I’ll do my best. :)

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:20 AM

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:14 AM

Sticking with one’s story is a good thing. As long it’s not too sticky. ;-)

TXUS on July 25, 2013 at 2:22 AM

TXUS on July 25, 2013 at 2:22 AM

eeew… good point… but … .eeewww. lol!

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:25 AM

The Wrong Idea – Charlie Barnet

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 12:54 AM

Reminds me of Spike Jones – forerunner of Frank Zappa….

williamg on July 25, 2013 at 2:25 AM

You have a point..:)

PS..I wonder why Weiner did not use the moniker “Dirk”??..:)

Dire Straits on July 25, 2013 at 2:04 AM

lol

I know this could be his theme song:

Turbonegr0 – “I Got Erecti0n”

Anti-Control on July 25, 2013 at 2:27 AM

williamg on July 25, 2013 at 2:25 AM

There’s a perspective I hadn’t thought of at all. Interesting. I’ll have to listen to some of all three and compare. Thanks. :)

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:27 AM

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:16 AM

Black is probably closer to my mood tonight.

Thirteen

novaculus on July 25, 2013 at 2:29 AM

Where is our PEP TALK!

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:18 AM

It went the way of Elvis, dying on the top of a commode.

TXUS on July 25, 2013 at 2:29 AM

Where is our PEP TALK!

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:18 AM

Meet the “new” speech same as the old speech era..:)

Dire Straits on July 25, 2013 at 2:31 AM

novaculus on July 25, 2013 at 2:29 AM

I’m sorry to hear that, Nova. I know it hits us all from time to time. I hope it lifts for you very soon, indeed.

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:31 AM

TXUS on July 25, 2013 at 2:29 AM

Even his speech writers can’t dredge up the gall to write that stuff anymore. It went the way of the Swirly of Death. LOL!

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:32 AM

Dire Straits on July 25, 2013 at 2:31 AM

Time to retire the coach and hire a new coach. :)

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:33 AM

TAnd of course – if you’re gonna talk Spike Jones, you gotta whip this one out…..heck, it’s Historic!….

Something “Obama-Like” in this one……

“Super-Duper Supermen!!”

williamg on July 25, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Anti-Control on July 25, 2013 at 2:27 AM

LoLz..:)

PS..Jay Leno and John Stewart are going to have a field day with this story..:)

Dire Straits on July 25, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Lydia Lunch – “Atomic Bongos”

Anti-Control on July 25, 2013 at 2:36 AM

Regarding the Wiener/Huma situation I’d remind you all of an old addage: water seeks its own level.

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:36 AM

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:32 AM

The Swirly of Death, got to remember that. ;-)

TXUS on July 25, 2013 at 2:38 AM

Time to retire the coach and hire a new coach. :)

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:33 AM

Agree..That would be music to our ears for sure..:)

PS..It is comical (and sad) of far Team Obie is in over their heads..:)

Dire Straits on July 25, 2013 at 2:39 AM

I wish you all… Happier Times

I bid you all a fond goodnight. It’s been a pleasure, as always.

Live in the moment.

“Keep yourselves where the light is.”

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:40 AM

Regarding the Wiener/Huma situation I’d remind you all of an old addage: water seeks its own level.

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:36 AM

And don’t forget, so does sewage.

VorDaj on July 25, 2013 at 2:40 AM

Regarding the Wiener/Huma situation I’d remind you all of an old addage: water seeks its own level.

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:36 AM

And, when it does, sometimes you are drowned.

TXUS on July 25, 2013 at 2:42 AM

LoLz..:)

PS..Jay Leno and John Stewart are going to have a field day with this story..:)

Dire Straits on July 25, 2013 at 2:34 AM

I believe you’re right! :)

Queen – “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy”

Anti-Control on July 25, 2013 at 2:42 AM

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:31 AM

It’s ok, Jackie. I’ve been around long enough to have some perspective. Despair is just the flip side of hope. I learned long ago not to take my moods or myself too seriously. I don’t fight it, I just let the river flow, and try to negotiate the blackwaters and the whitewaters and the slack waters as I come to them. And I usually find the music is a comfort, as I do this evening.

I See A Darkness

novaculus on July 25, 2013 at 2:42 AM

Black is probably closer to my mood tonight.

Thirteen

novaculus on July 25, 2013 at 2:29 AM

Any reason it’s black?

Danger likes her name, as well as the vid!

Spanky Wilson – “Sunshine Of Your Love”

Anti-Control on July 25, 2013 at 2:48 AM

Anti-Control on July 25, 2013 at 2:48 AM

No particular reason. It’s been along strange road, and sometimes when I look back, the senselessness and misery takes the foreground. Doesn’t matter. Tomorrow is another day, and it will be what I make of it.

novaculus on July 25, 2013 at 3:01 AM

An ocean of tomorrows? When he took office he said he was going to lower the ocean levels didn’t he?

Dollayo on July 25, 2013 at 3:24 AM

No particular reason.

There’s always a reason/explanation…

It’s been along strange road, and sometimes when I look back, the senselessness and misery takes the foreground. Doesn’t matter. Tomorrow is another day, and it will be what I make of it.

novaculus on July 25, 2013 at 3:01 AM

It does matter. Depression sucks, but it isn’t unsolvable.

Anti-Control on July 25, 2013 at 5:04 AM

An ocean of tomorrows? When he took office he said he was going to lower the ocean levels didn’t he?

Dollayo on July 25, 2013 at 3:24 AM

I love how he regressed.

For an encore, I expect him to talk about unicorns, lollipops, and his favorite blankie…

Anti-Control on July 25, 2013 at 5:05 AM

He’d reach out and actually work with us.”

He doesn’t work. He said so. He said he’s a “vision” guy. He hasn’t actually done anything remotely like work in five years.

dogsoldier on July 25, 2013 at 5:48 AM

He doesn’t work. He said so. He said he’s a “vision” guy. He hasn’t actually done anything remotely like work in five years.

dogsoldier on July 25, 2013 at 5:48 AM

The problem with ‘visionaries’ who don’t do work is that they blame failures on the people who tried implementing the vision. For Obama, the vision (and everything else about him) is infallible.

Liam on July 25, 2013 at 6:08 AM

Good Morning, Patriots!

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

William Shakespeare
“Obama’s Economic Soliloquy: “Sound and Fury…Signifying Nothing””My take.

kingsjester on July 25, 2013 at 6:44 AM

Mrs. Foodstamps there behind Obama is causing me to take a second look at Hank Johnson’s concerns about Guam.

justltl on July 25, 2013 at 7:41 AM

justltl on July 25, 2013 at 7:41 AM

LOL!

esr1951 on July 25, 2013 at 7:45 AM

The problem with ‘visionaries’ who don’t do work is that they blame failures on the people who tried implementing the vision. For Obama, the vision (and everything else about him) is infallible.

Liam on July 25, 2013 at 6:08 AM

The filthy rat-eared coward views himself as an “idea man.” Implementing the ideas is staff work and any failures comes from that and not the original concept.

The filthy bastard sold Obamacare with the idea that he personally guaranteed that if you liked your health plan or doctor you could keep them under Obamacare. HHS website’s FAQ says that is a lie. So who gets the blame the fraud whose name is on the legislation or HHS?

Happy Nomad on July 25, 2013 at 7:49 AM

Mrs. Foodstamps there behind Obama is causing me to take a second look at Hank Johnson’s concerns about Guam.

justltl on July 25, 2013 at 7:41 AM

That definitely wasn’t a crowd that missed many meals.

Happy Nomad on July 25, 2013 at 7:50 AM

“Obama’s Economic Soliloquy: “Sound and Fury…Signifying Nothing””My take.

kingsjester on July 25, 2013 at 6:44 AM

…I don’t know…how you can think SO CLEARLY…so early in the morning!
(:->)

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM

kingsjester on July 25, 2013 at 6:44 AM

I don’t think Obama even understands who or what the middle class is. For him “middle class” is just words

His use of “the middle class” is just like when rock bands come on stage and say the name of the city they’re in. “Helloooo Cleveland!” It’s an easy applause line and yes, the crowds they gather for him are that stupid but Obama is just that rhetorically lazy.

Fallon on July 25, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Love that pic. Reminds me of the movie “Dave”

I once caught a fish…THIS BIG.

Chris of Rights on July 25, 2013 at 8:33 AM

KOOLAID2 on July 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Thank you! Diet Coke and Honeynut Cheerios. :)

Fallon on July 25, 2013 at 8:13 AM

Yep.

kingsjester on July 25, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Just in case this thread is still active, Glenn Beck is all over this. He expects to get Bachmann on his radio program this morning.

Also will have Justin Amash on.

He’s just as perplexed and angry as everyone that this Amash Amendment was defeated.

How could our “friends” vote no on this?

Tune in if you can.

bluefox on July 25, 2013 at 9:14 AM

bluefox on July 25, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Schadenfreude, you have arrived and have top billing!

VorDaj on July 25, 2013 at 2:16 AM

What an excellent and realistic article. Thank you for sharing, VorDaj.

Schadenfreude on July 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Time to retire the coach and hire a new coach. :)

thatsafactjack on July 25, 2013 at 2:33 AM

Agree..That would be music to our ears for sure..:)

PS..It is comical (and sad) of how far Team Obie is in over their heads..:)

Dire Straits on July 25, 2013 at 2:39 AM

Fixed..:)

Dire Straits on July 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3