Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Obama's SOTU Address Previews 2012 Presidential Race

At WSJ, "Obama's Address Previews 2012 Race":

Hu and Obama

President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao of China walk along the Colonnade of the White House, Jan. 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama will call for a "responsible" effort to shrink the deficit but won't offer detailed plans on spending and taxes in a State of the Union address Tuesday that will presage the broad themes for political debate through the 2012 election.

The president is expected to call for "shared sacrifice" from both parties, and to reach out to the GOP with a nod to possibly lowering the nation's corporate income-tax rate as part of an overhaul of the corporate-tax code, according to people familiar with speech preparations.

The speech and the Republican response are likely to frame contrasting philosophies that will drive political discourse for the next two years. Mr. Obama has chosen "competitiveness" and "investment" as terms to guide discussion over how to create jobs, daring Republicans to resist his push for new spending in areas that he will call vital to the nation's future. He will seek to wall off education, infrastructure, science and energy from cuts, in effect making them the ground on which the 2012 campaign is to be fought.

Republicans have chosen House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to deliver the State of the Union response. Mr. Ryan has outlined a vision of smaller, less-intrusive government, extending to popular programs such as Medicare, which he would turn increasingly over to the private sector.

Since what Mr. Obama described as his party's "shellacking" in November, he has tried to appeal to the political center by moving right. He struck a deal with Republicans on taxes and has been remaking the White House with deal makers from Bill Clinton's White House schooled in bipartisan outreach. He also has reached out to business with pledges to pare regulations and consult more closely on trade, taxes and "competitiveness."

The moves appear to be yielding political results. A slew of new polls have put the president's approval ratings at levels not seen since the pitched partisan battles over Mr. Obama's health-care overhaul began in August 2009.
More at the link.

Also, at New York Times, "President, Rebounding, Gives Opponents Pause" (via Memeorandum):
Suddenly, Republicans face an unanticipated problem: less than three months after their midterm triumphs, President Obama has regained political momentum.

As Mr. Obama approaches the State of the Union address on Tuesday, various polls show him rising toward or beyond 50 percent approval of his job performance. Before his first 2011 clash with Republican adversaries who now share governing responsibility, those surveys also show that Americans credit Mr. Obama with greater commitment to finding common ground.
Look, it's a new year and we've just had a shooting tragedy with national implications. The president's been striking the right tone. The same can't be said for his backers on the left. And of course, there's a long while until all these numbers really matter. We've got a year until the first primaries and caucuses, and lots needs to happen in terms of economic recovery. That, and the Republican success in Congress will determine a lot of how things look for Obama a year from now. Until then, the Democrat-Media-Complex will be spinning relentlessly to build up the administration and destroy conservatives. And you can take that to the bank.

PHOTO CREDIT: The White House Flickr page.


Dennis said...

As some wag states, "Obama will give us the Pomp and Ryan will give us the Circumstances." Another meaningless attempt at acting "centrist."
The NY Times would credit Obama with a turn around if he had a case of gas they are so "in the tank." It would be interesting to find out how many people actually believe anything the NY Times prints.
Anyone want to bet that the future actions taken by Obama will meet the words? If the past is any indicator, NO! is the answer.