Where the teleprompter meets the road

The grander the stage, the smaller Mr. Obama comes across


When Mr. Obama entered office, he told us unemployment would not rise over 8% if we passed his stimulus. Now his economic advisers have just told us that unemployment will not fall below the 9% mark through next year. As if to underscore the grim news, the latest jobs report—released in time for Labor Day weekend—shows zero net job growth for August.

The politics requires not only that the president address the economy's dismal jobs performance but that he be seen by the American people to be doing it. And that's where the teleprompter meets the road.

The truth is that there is practically nothing Mr. Obama could do to gin up better jobs numbers before next year's election without massively increasing the deficit—and the Republicans won't let him do that. Even with the word "stimulus" banished from his remarks this week, no one will be fooled by new calls to "invest" in roads and bridges and infrastructure. Or by the expected hodgepodge of other proposals from extending the payroll tax holiday to tax credits for new hires.


In music there's a saying about a performance that was "too small for the house." That's becoming true of the president. There was a day when Mr. Obama's taste for the marvelous—a campaign address in Berlin, the faux presidential seal, the Greek columns that surrounded him during his speech accepting the Democratic nomination—all seemed to herald something exciting and historic.

Even inside the Beltway, however, substance ultimately tells. Three years into his presidency, the grander the stage the smaller Mr. Obama comes across.

Comment: My wife (and many others) says - "he never says anything". He used to have style without substance and now even the style is gone! Image source: Obama Uses Teleprompter to speak in 6th Grade Class

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected. Please do not comment off-topic