By Dave Andrusko
Thanks to those who dropped me a line about our two posts yesterday anticipating tonight’s State of the Union Address (nrlc.cc/1f8Eq3y and nrlc.cc/1neeUOC). A common denominator in today’s stories about the upcoming presidential address is found in this headline: “State of the Union: Obama to lay out go-it-alone approach.” By that they mean issuing executive orders that don’t require congressional approval.
Without going through all that we discussed yesterday, this is, on the one hand, bizarre (not to mention defeatist), and, on the other hand, exactly what you would expect from a man who creates his own problems and then acts the innocent bystander, blaming everyone else for them.
Since these are not our issues, suffice it to say that what aides to the President (including the White House Press Secretary) were telling the press Mr. Obama would focus on tonight is simply not issues the public is interested in.
Which gives an additional, unintended meaning to the idea of Obama “going it alone.”
POLITICO ran an interesting piece today by Tai Kopan under the headline, “Poll: Troubling numbers for State of the Union.” He goes through some of the numbers from the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that parallel what we talked about on Monday, based on a Washington Post/ABC News survey.
The most significant numbers are in Kopan’s first three paragraphs:
“As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver his annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, a new poll shows less than one-third of Americans think the country is in a better place today than when he took office.
“Sixty-eight percent say the country is in the same place or worse off than when Obama became president in 2009, compared with 31 percent who say it’s better off, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out Tuesday. Thirty-nine percent said it was worse off.”
“Similarly, 63 percent said the country was on the wrong track, compared with just 28 percent who believe the nation is going in the right direction.”
What about ObamaCare and, particularly, the infamous HealthCare.gov? The administration’s mantra (repeated by POLITICO’s Carrie Budoff Brown) is that everything is hunky dory and it will only get better over the next two months.
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Thus “Senior Democrats in the White House and on Capitol Hill say they don’t view Obamacare as the political liability that Republicans believe it to be,” Brown writes. “The West Wing wants Democrats to embrace the issue, not shy away from it.”
So, according to Brown, the trick is NOT to come off as “mission accomplished” in tonight’s SOTU address because “there is still a lot of work to do.” She then amusingly lists just some of the headaches which any objective observer would agree demonstrates that ObamaCare is every bit the liability its critics contend it is!
Thus, Brown writes, a measure of his “sincerity” (besides not pretending everything is fixed) is how much attention President Obama gives ObamaCare tonight. (“Health care didn’t occupy a lot of time in Obama’s three State of the Union addresses since the law was signed.”)
Okay, how exactly does he handled the issue tonight? Brown writes
“Tout the successes, acknowledge the work that still needs to be done, and energize the base without losing credibility with the rest of the country.”
Oh, is THAT all?!