Reporter's Note: President Obama is hitting the road to promote his latest plan to stimulate the economy. I am staying at home, however, looking at the details.
Dear Mr. President,
Well, you went ahead and did it anyway. I suggested ahead of your big speech that it probably should be more about hard-core substance, less about inspirational phrases and that kind of rah-rah talk that you politicians seem to love, and yet you forged ahead with a speech that was soaring, full of passion…and gave your opponents a perfect opportunity to paint you as just another politician out for re-election.
Because, to be honest, from where I sat, it sure looked and sounded more like a campaign rally than a policy discussion. And wasn’t policy the whole point?
I’m not attacking or even disagreeing with your ideas here, I’m just saying that it seemed…unseemly in a way.
Look, some of the Republicans didn’t even show up because they said it was going to be primarily a political speech. I thought they were walking a dangerous line. I mean, when the president says he wants Congress to listen to what he has to say, in my book, Congress ought to sit down and listen. It just seems proper.
But then when I heard your message, and the way it was written, I couldn’t help but think that maybe they weren’t so wrong. Again: It sounded so much like a re-election bid, and so little like the kind of serious economic talk that is needed so desperately now.
Maybe I didn’t hear it properly, or maybe I was in the wrong frame of mind. I am willing to accept that I might be wrong on this. But as I told you a few days ago, I don’t think America has any doubt that you can be an inspiring leader with grand ideas about how American can succeed and move forward. But I think a lot of Americans have serious doubts about your ability to turn those majestic thoughts into actual, working policies that change our lives for the better. And if you can’t convince them that you understand that part of the equation, I don’t think all the fine speeches in the world will win them over.
You know that I try to be encouraging, but that is something to think of while you are out on the road…making speeches.
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