I didn't want to, I didn't intend to, but I still did it - I watched the president's address to the joint session of congress about the economy and jobs in particular. I liked what I heard; here are my preliminary thoughts:
"American Jobs Act" (AJA) is a catchy name that neatly frames the debate - it's about jobs; are you for them, or against them?
Obama adeptly laid his proposal out in terms of ideas that have always enjoyed bipartisan support, including some that were originally advanced by Republicans. If you were for them then, why would you be against them now?
Tax cuts for employees and small businesses are an integral part of the package - who would oppose tax cuts for either of these groups; to put it another way (as the president did) who would support a tax INCREASE on them in these hard economic times.
Fairness should be a component of tax reform; EVERYBODY should pay their fair share and EVERYBODY should share in the sacrifice.
Veterans who fought for our freedoms should not have to fight for a job!
The next election is 14 months away - America cannot wait 14 months for something to happen to help the economy improve. "Pass this jobs act now!"
It's not a race to the bottom it's a race to the top, and America can win that race.
Obama may have been addressing the joint session of Congress but he was speaking directly to the American people, and he was saying what they wanted to hear. John Boehner, sitting directly behind the president and clearly visible during the entire speech, clearly knew this and appeared extremely uncomfortable for the duration of the address.
The president was speaking to the American people but more importantly he was speaking FOR the American people. He knows his proposals are supported by a majority of the people because they will benefit a majority of the people, and he made that distinction. Do you support the people, or don't you? It's a yes or no question. It was apparent that Boehner recognized the implications of this question.
Joe Biden stayed awake for the whole speech, so it must have been good!
There will be lots of analysis, spin, and commentary by a lot of pundits a whole lot smarter and more informed than me, but here's my take-away message from watching the president tonight: Obama is back, and he's ready to fight for his vision for what America can be, and to take on any one who gets in the way. He's going to take his message to the American people and I think that's a winning strategy for Obama, and for the nation.