9 p.m. ET all across the dial. Even a fan like Kathleen Parker can’t believe Mr. First-Class Temperament is trying to boost his numbers by turning into Yosemite Sam harrumphing about “fatcat” varmints, but oh well. Add her to the swelling rolls of Obamites felled by heart-ache. Excerpts of the speech are already circulating online — he won’t walk away from health care, he’s super excited about transparency, he wants to “rescue, rebuild, and restore” America, etc etc — but more interesting to me was how Gibbs described the speech this morning on ABC.
“The president’s going to explain why he thinks the American people are angry and frustrated,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said on “Good Morning America” today.
“Many of the same factors that led Sen. [Scott] Brown to become a senator from Massachusetts led Barack Obama to become president. Now, we’ve got to deal with those angers and frustrations by putting people back to work, by demonstrating we have a plan to get our economy continued on the road to recovery and putting those folks back to work, and protecting our country from those who seek to do us harm.”
The One has always enjoyed psychoanalyzing American voters — look no further than his massively overhyped speech on race — but watching him explain to Massachusetts that they were actually kinda sorta voting for him when they voted for Scott Brown should make this his most entertaining soliloquy yet. He’s also going to “accept responsibility, though not necessarily blame” for his many broken promises, according to the NYT, so keep an eye out for that quality bit of Hopenchange parsing. What it boils down to:
As Mr. Obama navigates a crossroads of his presidency, a moment when he signals what lessons he has drawn from his first year in office, the public posture of the White House is that any shortcomings are the result of failing to explain effectively what they were doing — and why. He will acknowledge making mistakes in pursuit of his agenda, aides said, but will not toss the agenda overboard in search of a more popular one.
He’s doubling down. Be sure to read Sean Trende’s piece today at RCP for why that’s a mystifyingly bad idea.
Just as I’m writing this, the full text of Bob McDonnell’s GOP response is appearing online. I haven’t had time to read all of it yet, but the bullet points — jobs, deficits, less government — are smart nuts-and-bolts stuff and very much what McDonnell won on in Virginia. Should be a good one, for a change. As we wait for the fateful hour, a brief clip to put you in the mood.
Update (Ed): We’re keeping the TEMS chat room open tonight for anyone who wants to participate. I’m not embedding it in this post in order to keep it from interfering with comments, but just go to my show post and log in from there.