I listened to President’s Obama’s speech. I did not listen to the pundits. But let me make some educated guesses:
If you are a GOP candidate or in the GOP leadership, you thought (i) he was short on specifics for economic recovery, (ii) he should have come out in favor of tax cuts, and (iii) he failed to vindicate the success of the surge in Iraq for enabling him to fulfill a campaign promise of ending the combat mission in 18 months.
If you are Keith Olbermann (and sometimes Frank Rich), you wonder why he didn’t renounce war all together, and how he could possibly mention George W. Bush and patriotism in the same sentence.
If you are Maureen Dowd, you wonder what happened to his passion and why, even though we elected Mr. Spock, he didn’t somehow morph into Dr. Spock.
If you are Chris Matthews, you are joking about how his eyes fluttered from time to time because you really can’t cope with your rock star hero’s having to represent the establishment he ran against.
I will go out on a limb here and have an opinion: I liked his speech. I thought he spoke movingly of the sacrifices of our troops. He heard our fears about our economy and tried to be reassuring — as reassuring as one can be in the twenty minutes of prime time allotted. He danced around the backlash against Muslims and building of mosques and community centers. That was disappointing, but “politic”.
So, if you are the opposition, you hated it. If you are among the democrats who wanted public health care and war crimes tribunals for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld (I don’t disagree) you are frustrated to the point of distraction. If you just want the President to do his job and you appreciate even a little what an impossible job it is, you thought he did fine and just want him to keep trying.
So, how did I do? If I hit 75% accuracy, I will have saved two hours of my life by not watching talking heads or reading pout-y Op-Eds. How liberating.