Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union

Barack Obama, in deference to Lost fans who had their hearts set on watching the season premiere on its scheduled date next week, is delivering his State of the Union speech tonight.'s Ed Hornick reports that political analysts don't expect the speech to reassure the millions of Americans who are hurting.

Well, there are many issues that need to be addressed. If Obama focuses most of his attention tonight on health care reform, he's going to lose a lot of listeners on both sides of the political aisle.

Joblessness must be dealt with. Most unemployed Americans cannot afford the luxury of giving Obama another year to address a single issue with reforms that won't even go into effect for several years. They need a president who will go to the mat for them on jobs. Now.

He can't create jobs — well, he can't create enough jobs to turn things around over night. But he can propose projects that will create temporary jobs, and he can do things to encourage job creation in the private sector — through tax breaks and the like. He just hasn't.

Perhaps he can explain that tonight. Perhaps he can make it clear that he is shifting his emphasis to things that matter to Americans now, not four or five years from now.

The Miami Herald succinctly summarizes the challenge facing Obama's speech, which will be delivered to an increasingly skeptical public:

"Obama must regain public trust to move his agenda."

We'll see if he is able to do that.

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