What can Obama say tonight to change minds?

President Obama’s first State of the Union is tonight (last February’s speech to a joint session of Congress technically wasn’t a SOTU). Coming amid a stinging special election loss and with the opinion polls all moving against the president, the speech will probably be one part pivot and one part hunker-down. But how much of each?

For all the attention the Massachusetts election has gotten, the Democrats (counting Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman) still have 59 senators and a large majority in the House. Normally, that would be plenty of votes to pass a Democratic president’s agenda — George Bush didn’t exactly face gridlock despite having smaller majorities in Congress during his administration.

But Obama’s agenda is different, because he ratcheted up the ambition and rhetoric to match his super-majority. The 60 Senate seats may have been a curse in disguise: Now that the super-majority is gone, he can’t meet the expectations that he set — but he also can’t dial things back too much without ticking off his base, which still thinks it’s entitled to uber-liberalism.

So, can Obama say anything tonight that would convince moderates, much less conservatives, that he’s changed his tune? My guess is that he will offer the same sort of nice-sounding but ultimately empty gestures that he gave in his September speech to Congress on health care.

And no one will be fooled.

90 comments Add your comment

LA

January 27th, 2010
10:21 am

“What can Obama say tonight to change minds?”

I will resign and go back to Chicago.

Hey, we can wish can’t we?

dewstarpath

January 27th, 2010
10:25 am

- Resign for what? Taking on the unenviable task
of correcting the errors of the worst Presidential
Administration in history? Or not “bowing” to the
whims of the fringe right?

jconservative

January 27th, 2010
10:27 am

Well, (if I may quote Reagan) what he needs to say to convince me to support his program is this: “the days of tax cuts and increased spending are over” (if I may borrow from Clinton).

He needs to say that we will put our fiscal house in order by cutting expenses in entitlements, defense and congressional perks. He needs to say he will veto any bill that has a mandate to states. He needs to say he will cancel the March 2009 tax cuts. He needs to balance the budget for fiscal year 2011 and give us the exact cuts to the dollar.

In short, I would call the bluff of the Senate & House, the Republicans & Democrats and the Liberals & Conservatives. Hand them a balanced 2011 budget. That would make 2010 the most politically entertaining year since 1803.

retiredds

January 27th, 2010
11:11 am

Kyle, I have always been suspect when one party controls both houses of Congress and the Presidency. Usually that has been a mix that does not benefit the American people. So if Mr. Brown’s election to the Senate from Massachusetts brings some sanity and a willingness of those on both sides of the aisle to compromise and bring forth meaningful legislation on behalf of the American people, I am for it. Let’s face it, this last year in the political realm has been a downright farce which is why nothing of substance is getting done in Washington (or under the Gold Dome in Atlanta for that matter, i.e. one party rule). So here is to real bipartisanship, it the boys (and they are mostly boys) can put their egos and agendas aside and make a mark for the American people as a whole and not just their petty fiefdoms. As an aside, we are all allowed to fantasize once in a while, aren’t we?

JF McNamara

January 27th, 2010
11:13 am

Nothing. At this point its obvious nothing is going to get accomplished. We are in massive debt with and the electorate is controlled by the media and big business propaganda. The Congress is controlled by big businesses who pretty much like the status quo.

He might as well say he’s just going to chill in his office and make ceremonial feel good speeches. Congress isn’t going to do allow anything to be done unless it involves giving away money to win votes.

The American People

January 27th, 2010
11:14 am

Nothing. Nada. I lied and broke many campaign promises and to those Americans who voted for me because of hopes of change I am extremely sorry. Down With Dems In 2K10

“I will ensure that federal contracts over $25,000 are competitively bid.” – Barack Obama

“I Will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children” – Barack Obama

“During 2009 and 2010, existing businesses will receive a $3,000 refundable tax credit for each additional full-time employee hired.” – Barack Obama

To achieve health care reform, “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies — they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.” – Barack Obama

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
11:17 am

“What can Obama say tonight to change minds?”

Suckers! Screwed everyone of ya didnt I?!! Well its not over for 3 more years ya idiots!!

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
11:21 am

“What can Obama say tonight to change minds?”

LOSERS! You have all left me in my hour of need and now ya gonna pay the price. This first year of screw-ups is nothing compared to whats gonna happen next. HEY…turn my teleprompter back on…

Jefferson

January 27th, 2010
11:21 am

Only an open mind can grow and you can’t learn if you are talking, so there you are.

JohnD

January 27th, 2010
11:23 am

Hey Kyle — how come you are ignoring the story about your hero O’Keefe being busted for trying to plant an eavesdropping device in Senator Landrieu’s office?

So maybe you are just like the rest of the talking heads and only focus on stories that fit your worldview?

If it had been Michael Moore or some other left-wing loony, you’d be calling for them to be drawn and quartered. But since he’s your boy, you are gonna pretend it never happened, right?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 27th, 2010
11:28 am

i would respect an acknowledgement that the “stimulus” was a total waste. I would appreciate rescission of all Federal spending increases since his election. I will join his side if he proposes abolishing SEC, HUD, EPA, Dept of Agr.

HDB

January 27th, 2010
11:35 am

I would continue to push towards health care reform, work towards bettering the economy and getting people back to work…..then focus on ending the war. I will not be pushed into an agenda that just makes one side happy….but will make ALL Americans happy!!

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 27th, 2010
11:40 am

He can say Republicans are lying scum responsible for two wars, the pending war against Iran, the collapse of the economy, the massive federal debt (when bush took office, the entire national debt was on schedule to be paid off in 2018), the criminal fraud he called the “ownership society,” and for general stupidity. He can issue a declaration of war on the stinking Repukes and all their buddies, like the neocon scum.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 27th, 2010
11:46 am

Oh yeah, President Obama can fire Tiny Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke, order their arrest, and that of all their advisors and subordinates, and order them questined under drugs and torture of the AIG stealth bailout of Goldman Sachs. He should order all assets of Goldman seized and every one of its employees and partners arrested, for questioning also under drugs and torture. He should also the Army to practice up on firing squads, using life size cutouts of all the arrested scum, with the practice sessions open to the public and tv.

Chris Broe

January 27th, 2010
11:54 am

How could Obama change America’s mind? Obama could say, “I wish that Michelle would get a makeover. I wish Hillary would use her negro dialect more. I wish Pelosi and Reid would stfu. I wish that Osama bin Laden’s mom had spelled his name differently so that Fox News would quit confusing our names. I wish that America hadn’t done all those drugs in highschool and had a longer attention span. I wish they would give the Balloon Boy’s family a reality show. I think the Octomom should have raised ducks. ”

Oh, Obama could change alot of minds.

The Truth Shall Make You Free

January 27th, 2010
12:00 pm

O.K. I was born in Kenya and “technically” I am not a U.S. citizen.

Road Scholar

January 27th, 2010
12:06 pm

Such constructive responses! I guess when you have no ideas, and live in a parallel universe which survived no bailout, you can be glib about our country’s future. He has to move to the center. He must state that he will work on a healthcare bill without sweetheart deals. I’m waiting for the conservatives solutions to jobs…the tax break thing hasn’t worked out.

Kyle, could you do a story on tax rates from 1980 forward to today and the respective breaks businesses have gotten and how it has affected the economy? You can include the growth of government and the portion of the economy attributed to government investment. Also include the racial makeup of welfare recipients.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
12:11 pm

Uh Roady…HCare is D E A D! Get it?

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
12:15 pm

“My Fellow Americans, good evening. Now while its true my daughter Sasha is teaching me the finer points of Parcheesi, this economy, trillion dollar debt, HCare defeat, loss of Teddys seat to a republican, so on and so forth, isnt my fault. Its the fault of George W Bush. Good night my fellow American.”

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
12:17 pm

“Good Evening my fellow Americans. Tonite we have a real treat in store. Instead of the usual boorish speech we are gonna have Ms Nancy Pelosi and VP Joe Biden come on out here an do a little square dancin for us…YYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE–HHHAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWW”

Davo

January 27th, 2010
12:21 pm

The only thing that would really make me want to watch this charade is if Obama would take a wooden mallet to Pelosi every time that whack-a-mole stood up to clap.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

Little Barry…LMAO. Perhaps they could mail it COD to Barry and he could place it on the whitehouse lawn.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/01/26/indonesian-officials-consider-tearing-obama-statue/
Indonesian Officials Consider Tearing Down Obama Statue

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

When it comes to politicians, I don’t pay much attention to the speechifying, I watch what they do. As Harry Caray used to say, “Talk is cheap; whiskey costs money”.

LA

January 27th, 2010
12:28 pm

“Resign for what?”

His failed policies and lack of experience?

Oh and he’s destroying the democrat party.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 27th, 2010
12:32 pm

President Obama could lead Dick Cheney onto stage with a leash, with Dick walking on all fours like the dog he is. He could then order Dick to sit and beg, at which point dick would place his fat but on the floor, and lift his two front paws up in the begging manner. Later, Dick could do the but sniffing routine.

LA

January 27th, 2010
12:34 pm

Uh oh, Obama’s dad put his foot down.

DAVOS-Soros says Obama bank levy premature, backs other plans

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE60Q23H20100127

LA

January 27th, 2010
12:35 pm

“President Obama could lead Dick Cheney onto stage with a leash, with Dick walking on all fours like the dog he is.”

Yeah, but Cheney would shoot him in the face with his six shooter.

Besides, it would take Obama 6 more months to pick what kind of dog Cheney would be.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
12:43 pm

Cheney would probably mistake him for a fire hydrant and pee on Barrys leg.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 27th, 2010
12:44 pm

LA: Dogs can’t shoot six shooters, and Dick’s “stream” is too weak to shoot more than six inches. Ah guess Dick could crap on the floor, seeing as how he has already crapped all over the constitution and the oval office.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
12:47 pm

“Ah guess Dick could crap on the floor”

Better than Obobo who has been crapping on the Amercian citizens.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
12:48 pm

Its just so much fun watching Mr Worthless, Hussein Obobo, getting the SmackDown on his every ill-conceived notion.

@@

January 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

How about “I’ve been wrong” instead of “I’ve been wronged” boo hoo hoooooo. Geez! this guy never stops whining or looking to place blame elsewhere.

To be perfectly honest with you, I have no intention of hearing anything he says from this point forward. Words do matter, and HIS have meant next to nothing. I’d hazard a guess that he’ll be talking to a very small audience. He just likes to talk to hear himself talk. That’s become painfully obvious.

Disgusted

January 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

“Therefore, I will resign right after this speech and turn over the presidency to a representative of the Party of No, the Republicans. Dang! I might have known Americans would never stand for a black president!”

LA

January 27th, 2010
12:55 pm

@@

How’s life on the PC policeman blog? Bookman never did say why he banned me. I didn’t get personal with anyone.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
12:56 pm

Disgusted

January 27th, 2010
12:52 pm

He can resign now or he can wait until 2012 when we throw his sorry, lying ass out of office.

LA

January 27th, 2010
12:58 pm

“I might have known Americans would never stand for a black president!””

LOL!!!!!!!

When in doubt, play the race card.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
1:01 pm

Bookman just said you were on a vacation.

LA

January 27th, 2010
1:02 pm

“Bookman just said you were on a vacation”

Yeah, but he never said why.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
1:06 pm

I dont think he likes you. Too much competition.

jt

January 27th, 2010
1:07 pm

Like @@ said, Obama can say nothing to change minds. His words mean nothing.

But it is entertaining to see the Bookmans of the world defend him.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
1:08 pm

“Besides, it would take Obama 6 more months to pick what kind of dog Cheney would be.”

Obama probably wants Cheney as his Pony-Boy.

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 27th, 2010
1:08 pm

Boomykan is pretty stupid, I don’t know why the Urinal wastes its money paying him. He should be teaching in Middle School, that is his highest level of skill, imho.

LA

January 27th, 2010
1:09 pm

“I dont think he likes you. Too much competition.”

Uh, ya think?

He lets AmVet call me and others every name in the book yet he bans me.

LA

January 27th, 2010
1:10 pm

“I don’t know why the Urinal wastes its money paying him. ”

That is a great question. Usually when a person is costing a company money and loss of readership, they ax the person.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
1:10 pm

HDB

January 27th, 2010
11:35 am

Sounds as if you received an advance copy of the coconuts speech.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
1:11 pm

The only thing BedWet is good at is reading the thesaurus.

Horrible Horrace

January 27th, 2010
1:14 pm

Tuckers blog is kinda fun sometimes, however, if ya really want an reaction go to the “Get Schooled” blog. Bunch of high strung women and girly men over there. Make your first volleys good ones cuz Maureen will ban ya…lol.

Farce of the Union

January 27th, 2010
1:39 pm

The State of the Union address is ludacris. First off it is on way to many channels, luckily for me I have plenty of channels so I don’t have to watch. Second the President should address the nation in a room by himself, the constant standing ovations are ridiculous and not needed. I will probably tune in but way after the “show” and get the summary from a news channel. I recommend everybody do the same, I mean how can you watch Obama with that crooked, smirking woman behind him, Nancy Pelosi?

joan1

January 27th, 2010
2:05 pm

What does it matter what he says? We know he is a congenital liar.

citizen

January 27th, 2010
2:13 pm

President Obama will read the words that his speech writers have written for him to read from the teleprompter. What I want to know is who are the people telling the speech writers what to include in the speeches?