President Obama's Weekly Address

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    two and half minutes (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by sj on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 09:32:48 PM EST
    Seemed so much longer.

    crap (none / 0) (#1)
    by kmblue on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 10:41:27 AM EST
    still selling the ppus

    Head of State v. Head of Government (none / 0) (#2)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 11:50:13 AM EST
    Sometimes its too bad in this county the President must be both these things.  Rarely is someone equally good at both.

    Obama is quite good at the former, and pretty crappy at the latter.  And he seems to enjoy the head of state function much more.

    It (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 07:13:33 AM EST
    would seem that we the people are content with electing someone who is good at funerals and banquets. And entertaining the troops.

    In short, Bob Hope.


    Must have really annoyed you (none / 0) (#4)
    by sj on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 09:32:21 PM EST
    Not even an Aloha

    I (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 07:07:57 AM EST
    agree with everything that you wrote - with the single exception of your description of Obama as a, "...gifted and inspirational orator".

    I have always found his style to be totally unoriginal, measured and predictable. In short, truly uninspiring.

    No one is ever interested when I refer to him, but if you want to listen to someone truly gifted and inspirational, listen or watch Malcolm X. His brain and his heart are interconnected. He speaks spontaneously. And he never measures or minces his words.

    I wish people on the left - or progressives - would listen to him because he is the Gold Standard for honesty and integrity by which we could (and should) measure political discourse.

    Then we would be really reluctant to settle for people like Obama who mix a little truth with a lot of b.s.


    I thought his Tuscon speech (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by observed on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 08:00:59 AM EST
    was good; others, I rate them from mediocre (esp. on paper,questions of delivery aside) to awful, the worst being his first "greatest evah" speech on race,where, maudlin, defensive and evasive, he publicly humiliated his own sick grandmother to save his political life.

    IMO, the race speech worked (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 08:04:40 AM EST
    mostly because he made people uncomfortable. There was even a hint of "drop the subject or I'll kick my grandmother again.

    Yep, unlike Churchill (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 10:22:21 AM EST
    Obama has uttered nary peep that is memorable and uplifting

    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 05:56:53 PM EST
    but I'm not talking about someone coming up with a memorable phrase. "Where's the beef?" is a memorable phrase. So what?

    I'm talking about demanding that a politician speak openly and honestly about what they think and feel. Spontaneously. Someone who takes people seriously and cares and thinks about them 24/7.

    That's why I referred to Malcolm.

    But nobody is interested.


    That's setting the bar rather high (none / 0) (#12)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 11:56:30 AM EST
    and I don't think any of GWBs' speeches will be seen to meet that level by history as well.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#19)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 03:41:21 PM EST
    IMHO, only "axis of evil" comes close to being memorable.

    Gandhi (none / 0) (#13)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 01:14:16 PM EST
    is "memorable and uplifting" to all humanity, forever. Churchill is unabashedly "memorable and uplifting" to only old school conservatives who revel in romanticizing the "glory days" of colonialism. The Churchillian view of colonialism was rejected even in post war Britain as much as it was rejected by FDR.

    I think one could concede (none / 0) (#14)
    by Harry Saxon on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 01:33:39 PM EST
    that during WWII Churchill reached peaks of rhetoric that are postively Shakespearean without endorsing his colonialist ideology at the same time.

    Agree, and his (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by brodie on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 01:56:15 PM EST
    soaring defiant rhetoric and courageous bulldog spirit were also what Britain and the Allies needed for that perilous time.  Language designed to buck up the spirit of the beseiged masses, and a steely unwavering attitude to match the Nazi menace.

    Today, by contrast, in these economically and politically troubling times, we have a president who has so far fallen surprisingly short both in the rhetoric, and in spirit where he has shown disappointing weakness in dealing with the political opposition.

    Churchill:  even this liberal acknowledges he was the right man for the times.

    Obama:  a once-promising political figure who has turned out to be far better suited temperamentally to governing in much calmer times.    


    Sense of Proportion (none / 0) (#17)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 02:26:05 PM EST
    Despite the economics problems facing the United States and the world at this time, we are living in much calmer times than what existed during WW2 and the years leading up to it. Much as I disagree with the President's tax deal and some other policy measures, he remains the best leader temperamentally to guide the country through these uncertain times.

    To clarify, I didn't (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by brodie on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 02:55:11 PM EST
    mean to just compare today with the WW2 era -- which obviously was a much more immediate and direct threat to democracy -- but intended to suggest that today's set of economic and political problems Obama faces go beyond the norm faced by most presidents.  

    That is certainly true in the economic sphere, the worst situation since the GD, and increasingly attention is being drawn to the ugly, violent tenor of our political discourse as well as our seemingly broken political system in D.C.

    Obama just doesn't seem quite up to the task of directly and forcefully addressing these problems.  He would have been better suited to a quieter time, the post-Watergate 70s perhaps or the post-Cold War 90s.  

    Not a great crisis president so far.


    Churchill's Parliamentary career (none / 0) (#20)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 03:44:11 PM EST
    spanned 64 years with 2 stints as Prime Minister (1940-45 and 1951-55). Was he the "right man for the times" in all those years? He was intent on retaining an unsustainable empire that would have been ruinious to Britain. He attacked Labour Parties policies of rebuilding Britain after the war through social programs as one that could only be achieved by falling back on "some form of a Gestapo"; the rhetoric that he used against "socialism" is not very different from what conservatives now use against progressivism.
    IMO, when people say that Churchill was the right man for the times, they are probably focussed on a very limited facet of leadership (as described in Brodie's post)while ignoring other aspects of leadership and the time in which he served.

    Well yes, obviously I was (none / 0) (#23)
    by brodie on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 06:51:53 PM EST
    focused on what you call a "limited facet of leadership" -- namely keeping his country from being overrun by the Nazis, while working FDR to get the US involved.  A rather important undertaking, ensuring a country's very survival, no?

    The other secondary stuff, I give you.  Except as during his 2d PMship he presciently understood the major turning point for the USSR upon the death of Stalin and promising signals from the emerging new leadership, tried to tell newly-installed prez Eisenhower about it, only to be told the US wasn't interested in exploring a new post-Stalin beginning with the Soviets.  What a different outcome it might have been for the world if Ike had been only half as smart as WC about the Soviets.


    Everything is a crisis (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 01:38:06 PM EST
    with some people.  Every word must be analyzed for secret meanings and such, you see.

    Like I said.... (none / 0) (#21)
    by lentinel on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 05:52:31 PM EST
    The discussion goes to Churchill and Ghandi.

    No one will pay attention to Malcolm.