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When a president’s team hypes a speech that is not even designed to make news they are inviting the media to get distracted from the intended message, critique the stagecraft, or just plain trash it. And so it went with President Obama’s much touted economic speech in Ohio on Thursday.
For nearly an hour he re-hashed themes and one-liners that left the press corps reaction ranging from bored to downright snarky. “A falsehood wrapped in a fallacy,” the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote, especially targeting Obama’s “nonsensical claim that he has a deficit plan that would strengthen Medicare for the long haul.”
Before this speech Obama’s staff flung out notices to the press that this would be a major address framing the campaign going forward. But I knew there would be trouble when they acknowledged there would be no new ideas or announcements for fixing the economy. Just more talk.
“Between the pre-speech hype from the campaign, the lack of new material and the overall length of the speech reporters were clearly dissatisfied with the end result,” Politicker’s Hunter Walker observed, citing several unflattering tweets by reporters covering the speech.
Obama on the economy is starting to remind me of George W. Bush on the Iraq War. Whenever the Bush White House sensed it was time to boost the public mood they would announce a major address or release some new blueprint that added up to no change at all. Just more talk.
This president really doesn’t seem to understand that just the sound of his voice is not going to make anyone think things can get better.
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