Thirty-five days after being inaugurated as America’s 44th president, Barack Obama discussed his economic agenda before a joint session of Congress last night. He focused on three priorities — health care, energy, and education — that will form the backbone of his long-term vision for economic growth and development. Those three core policy areas also received significant attention in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Obama signed into law earlier this month. “Now is the time to act boldly and wisely — to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity,” Obama said last night. Although the President came into the House chamber with sky-high approval ratings, Americans remain deeply worried about the recession. He offered them not just a budget plan but what he called “a vision for America — as a blueprint for our future.” He declared, “We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”
Yet another endorsement for Barack Obama – this time from the Economist.
“It is impossible to forecast how important any presidency will be. Back in 2000 America stood tall as the undisputed superpower, at peace with a generally admiring world. The main argument was over what to do with the federal government’s huge budget surplus. Nobody foresaw the seismic events of the next eight years. When Americans go to the polls next week the mood will be very different. The United States is unhappy, divided and foundering both at home and abroad. Its self-belief and values are under attack.”
“Merely by becoming president, he would dispel many of the myths built up about America: it would be far harder for the spreaders of hate in the Islamic world to denounce the Great Satan if it were led by a black man whose middle name is Hussein; and far harder for autocrats around the world to claim that American democracy is a sham. America’s allies would rally to him: the global electoral college on our website shows a landslide in his favour. At home he would salve, if not close, the ugly racial wound left by America’s history and lessen the tendency of American blacks to blame all their problems on racism.”
One part of what Colin Powell said on Meet The Press ” really hit home to me “… we have managed to convey to the world that we are more unilateral than we really are. We have not explained ourself well enough. And we, unfortunately, have left an impression with the world that is not a good one. And the new president is going to have to fix the reputation that we’ve left with the rest of the world.”
General Powell feels, as many of us do, that part of the great damage done by the Bush administration (the crumbling economy, huge Chinese-owned deficits and social injustice aside) is the damage done to the international reputation of the United States.
This has immense ramifications on security, on our ability to act militarily and also economically: let’s not forget someone has to buy our goods and services. General Powell (a Republican Party Secretary of State and decorated war hero) also agrees that Barack Obama is the best choice for President.
“I came to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities… as well as his substance–he has both style and substance–he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.”
General, you said it best.
Wow. What a debate. Joe Biden did an absolutely amazing job. I loved waching the lines on CNN soar when he talked. I confess I held my head in my hands in despair when Palin got on the mike. Platitudes, repetition and faux-folksiness. Sarah Palin could be Vice President?? Please!
CNN agree with me: The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. said 51 percent of those polled thought Biden did the best job, while 36 percent thought Palin did the best job.
The reviews are in and there seems to be a concensus that Barack Obama won the first debate. As the New York Times says:
“Mr. McCain fumbled his way through the economic portion of the debate, while Mr. Obama seemed clear and confident. Mr. McCain was more fluent on foreign affairs, and scored points by repeatedly calling Mr. Obama naïve and inexperienced.
But Mr. McCain’s talk of experience too often made him sound like a tinny echo of the 20th century. At one point, he talked about how Ronald Reagan’s “S.D.I.” helped end the cold war. We suspect that few people under the age of 50 caught the reference. If he was reaching for Reagan’s affable style, he missed by a mile, clenching his teeth and sounding crotchety where Reagan was sunny and avuncular.”