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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Obama preached to the choir, 'failed to rise to the moment'

Obama preached to the choir, 'failed to rise to the moment'

From the piece:

But if the speech wasn’t as grand or as memorable as previous addresses, perhaps that’s not entirely a bad thing. In his first term, Obama was undone by impossibly high expectations. This time, expectations are quite low that he can do much to change the grim state of Washington. With a lower hurdle to clear, Obama’s pedestrian rhetoric and tough words for his opponents gave Americans a fair sense of what to expect in the coming years.

Obama’s unapologetic inaugural address

From the piece:

Some will no doubt think (and write) that Obama should have sought more lofty and non-partisan ground. The problem with this critique is that it asks Obama to speak as if the last four years had not happened. It asks him to abandon the arguments he has been making for nearly two years. It asks us to pretend that we do not have a great deal at stake in the large debate over government’s role that we have been having over an even longer period.

Neither Roosevelt nor Reagan gave in to such counsel of philosophical timidity, and both of their speeches are worth rereading in light of Obama’s.

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