Last night, on Special Report, host Bret Baier asked his panelists to take a stab at what the headlines would be Friday morning, as far as Obama’s jobs speech was concerned. Here are their answers.
Steve Hayes: “Well, if it’s the New York Times I think it would be: ‘Courageous President Challenges Stubborn Republicans.’ But we know that’s not what’s actually happening here, so the real headine should be something along the lines of: ‘President tries to sell old policies to a … challenging Republican Party.'”
AB Stoddard (who earlier on the panel was defending Obama): “I think there will be bipartisan disappointment in the plan. It won’t please the right, it won’t please the left. And the headlines will be that there’s a lot of new spending, and after a year of hearing nothing about anything but debt, and the need for spending cuts, a lot of new spending with not a lot of details about how we’re going to get there and how it’s going to be offset. He’s not releasing those until later, and I think he’s going to get hammered for that. … This has been the narrative the whole year, deficit and debt. How can he propose new spending without explaining it right now – not saying ‘in a week and a half I’ll come up with my solutions for you.'”
Charles Krauthammer: “This isn’t a speech, it’s a setup. It’s not about jobs, it’s about re-election. Obama tonight is going to establish a premise – the economy’s in trouble, he’s got a plan the Republicans he knows will reject just about all of it, and thus he goes into the next year saying that whatever happens, it’s their fault and not mine. Headline: ‘Obama kicks off re-election in the House of Representatives.'”
I think they all missed the boat. The headlines about the jobs speech would be “NFL Season Opens,” or, “Storms forecast for Arizona,” or, “America remembers 9/11.” In other words, about the jobs speech, “Ho hum.”
I listened this morning at 6 am to ABC News at the top of the hour on KTAR here in Phoenix. There was no mention of the President’s speech. Which, as much as I dislike ABC News, I think they correctly assessed the import of this speech.
Which seems in keeping with the character of this presidency. To Obama, this merits a joint session of Congress. To the rest of us, it doesn’t even merit a mention on the morning news. In other words, an overestimation of his own importance, and disconnected from reality.