Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Revisiting Obama's Rising Job Approval and the SotU

Jay Cost follows up on Obama's Rising Job Approval:
...the internals of the poll offer mixed readings for the president, who is still under-water on approval for the economy (45/54), health care (44/55), taxes (46/52), the deficit (38/60), and illegal immigration (38/57). This might help explain the news reports that the State of the Union is going to focus more on atmospherics than substance, as it seems that the president's job approval bounce depends most of all upon the atmosphere since the midterm.
And the predicted focus on atmospherics seems about right in light of Jennifer Rubin's Where was Obama the centrist in his State of the Union?:
If you were expecting a moderate Obama or a bold Obama, you were disappointed, most likely, by Tuesday's State of the Union Address. In a nutshell: Obama proposed a ton of new domestic spending, promised to freeze discretionary spending (attained by savaging defense), abstained from offering specifics on entitlement reform and largely ignored major foreign policy changes. Moreover, the delivery was so listless that this State of the Union address likely garnered less applause than any address in recent memory.

But the mystery is solved: There is no new Obama, just a less snarly one. But it was also a flat and boring speech, too long by a third. Can you recall a single line?
In fact, I can remember a line. Sort of. It was a quip about "smoked salmon", but the audience didn't think it was funny. There was a pause before some nervous laughter. I agree with Rubin that it was "listless". Nice words, poorly delivered.

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