I want True Grit to win best picture. That movie showed that when you have someone on your side who is a determined, anything is possible. Tonight, Obama didn’t show any grit. Instead, it was more of a blunt professor telling the class what needs to be done.
Obama spoke about a lot of policy areas both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. The one that stood out was the spending freeze. You can’t say it won’t reduce the deficit (because it does), and elected officials can’t complain about a project being cut that their district or state needs. Other than that, there wasn’t much.
The speech was close to 7,000 words and there were hardly any specifics. He spoke broadly about cutting federal spending, energy policy, and the nations infrastructure. But he didn’t say what he wanted to do about it, only what that he wanted something done.
When talking about creating jobs, he spoke about working with businesses and reducing red tape. Clear reversals in tone with a new economic team and Chief of Staff coming in. But nothing to get excited about.
When it came to health care, he opened the door to make changes to the law. That is despite the fact when American’s find out what is actually in the law, they like it.
A part of me is disappointed that the administration took this route. I like the big speeches that fired me up to go campaign and work for change. I liked the feeling Obama was a guy who wanted to do big things, but none of that was shown tonight.
Instead, Obama was kept expectations low. If Congress passes anything that he can sign into law it is an automatic victory for him. There is an upside to any policy and he can use the bully pulpit to say what he is signing (a bipartisan piece of legislation) louder then anyone else in Washington.
Was it the right way to go. Probably. It’s safe and he is worried about winning re-election in 2012. What worries me is that he seems to have forgotton why people got off their couches to vote for him. They were excited about what they thought he could accomplish.
I did not see a person who I would hire to help me seek revenge for the death of a person I loved. In 2008 the left took revenge on the Republicans, but tonight, Obama showed No Grit.