Friday, September 9, 2011

Post-speech score card

Obama gave an energized speech last night. He definitely seems to have grabbed the ball:
  1. He wants to continue the Security Security Tax partial holiday and extend it to small businesses.
  2. He wants to use a Republican state program and go national with it to help the unemployed.
  3. He promises to strip back regulation that chokes small business, but only small business.
  4. He wants to do a batch of infrastructure projects.
  5. He wants Congress to act now, not wait 14 months until after the election.
The Republicans didn't have any ready responses today. Maybe they're stunned that he's taken the initiative on tax-cuts/regulation/small-business/job-creators away, and even started a countdown clock on them.

But Obama still has to deliver on two promises: the jobs bill itself, and the deficit reduction plan promised for Sept. 18. There will be a lot to pick apart there, since specifics are a bitch. That could very well put Obama back on the defensive.

I'll be watching the developments as closely as I watch a hurricane headed up the coast.

P.S. My opinion is still that no stimulus or policy change is going to make a big dent in the unemployment rate. I did hear some pundit quote a 1% reduction. Maybe that can be delivered, but will it be too small for the price tag?

BIG REVERSAL: (9/15/11) I made a big mistake in this post. The tone is wrong, in that it's quite partisan, too close to cheering on a political leader for a superficial good performance rather than taking a hard look at the policies. It's fine to comment on the performance, but as an analyst, not a fan.

In that light, Obama gave a very strong delivery of a plan well crafted to neutralize an opponent's arguments. At first glance, it is not greater than the sum of its parts, and each of the parts should be considered for its cost/benefit balance.

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