January 29th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

The President and the iPad

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Here’s a political riddle: What’s the difference between President Obama and the iPad?

One is a bright, techie marvel, full of great promise that everyone has a lot of questions about. The other is a new type of computer.

When President Obama rolled out his State of the Union address this week, millions of Democratic loyalists heaved a sigh of relief. It was the return of Super-Candidate. Just as he appeared to be in dreadful shape, like Spiderman he jumped up from the pavement, and whipped out a web of wonder. In the soaring phrases of his campaign, he laid out a broad plan of revitalization. He called for a new spirit of bipartisanship. And most of all he talked about creating jobs, jobs, jobs.

Talk, however, is part of his problem these days. Much of what he said this week was an echo of what he said shortly after taking office. And the cynicism of voters about such grand schemes has clearly deepened in twelve months.

Which brings me back to the iPad. For weeks now, the tech media world has been all in a lather over this mythical new product. There were endless articles speculating over what it might be, how it might work, and what it would mean to the wandering herd of guys and gals who salivate over RAM and whip out their iPhones to check the world chess standings the moment the plane touches down.

Now it has been unveiled and the talk is even hotter. But the point is Apple has more than talk. It has a real product.

To be fair, President Obama has results to show too. He can rightly claim that he took dynamic steps to stop the economic skid, but it’s not like everything is rosy yet. He can fairly say he invited Republicans to visit, but they can just as fairly say he didn’t give them a place to sit. And he can talk about all the jobs he created or saved with the stimulus, but compared to the 4.2 million lost since he took office, it seems less than inspiring.

If the president wants a better reception next year, the formula is simple and one that Apple has already established: Talk less. Do more. The results will sell themselves.

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

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