I was heartened by what I saw as the response to Obama’s State of the Union address.
I sat out the speech. Yes, I’m very interested in politics, but I long ago figured out that you can’t rely on Barack Obama meaning what he says. The advance publicity was out that he was going to talk about jobs. So out of his mouth come these platitudes about growing jobs and having faith in the private sector, but then out of his administration comes a devastating ruling by the EPA. The company operating the Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia had gone through an exhaustive 10-year process to obtain permission to build this mine. The permit was granted in 2007. Now, after the project has already been moving forward for over three years, the EPA has retroactively revoked the permit, sending a message across the country that no existing government-granted permit for a mining operation is safe, and killing all the jobs that were going to be created by this project and other projects that will now not even be proposed. What’s the point, if the government can cut you off at the knees after you’ve started your project?
And the word was out that he was going to talk about “investments.” Translation: He understands that the country is in no mood for new spending, and that “spending” is a bad word, but he thinks that he can get away with proposing new spending if he just changes the word he uses. Typical Barack.
So what’s the point in listening him? The promises aren’t much different from the ones he made last year that never happened.
Anyway, I was feeling out of synch with the country in my cynical attitude until I heard Frank Luntz with his focus group tonight. He sat with twenty-nine people in Atlanta, chosen to represent a cross-section of voters.
He played a clip from Obama: “Now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable. Every day families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same (applause).”
Dr. Luntz then asked the group two questions that zeroed in on Obama’s credibility. How many, he asked, believe that the recession is over? Three. How many believe that he really wants to cut spending? Four.
I got out my calculator. Four out of twenty-nine. That’s just under 14%. That’s 14% that believe that Obama himself believes what he is saying. That’s pretty poor. An April 2010 poll revealed that 20% of people believe that aliens from outer space are living among us, disguised as humans. Having 14% believe that you mean what you say is pretty poor. And about half of Frank Luntz’s group voted for Obama – it was a political cross-section.
Yes, sitting out the State of the Union – it was the right thing to do. I’m right in line with the mood of the country. Watch what he does – don’t pay any attention to what he says.