President Obama was in Ohio today, trying to build support for his jobs-and-infrastructure program. He spoke standing next to the Brent Spence Bridge, an aging structure that spans the Ohio River and connects Ohio, the home state of House Speaker John Boehner, to Kentucky, the home state of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“Now, that’s just a coincidence. Purely accidental, that that happened,” he told the crowd jokingly.
Obama says “there’s nothing wrong” with asking the rich to pay more. And he says that if asking the rich to pay more in taxes is class warfare, “then you know what? I’m a warrior for the middle class. I’m happy to fight for the middle class. I’m happy to fight for working people.”
I don’t know about you, but that sounds reminiscent of FDR’s famous speech in the 1936 campaign, in which he attacked “the old enemies of peace–business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.”
“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred.
I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.”
And then there’s this part, in which Obama seems to be channeling another well-known speech by another well-known president:
“Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge. Help us rebuild America. Help us put construction workers back to work. Pass this bill.”
I’m sure that one went over well in certain quarters.
– Jay Bookman