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December 01, 2009

Steely, sober, serious
Posted by Michael Signer

I'm struck so far in this speech by how resolutely pragmatic it is.  For the president to spend so much time and analysis on cost reveals his situation and the deepest source of his reasoning.  His citation of Eisenhower's recognition that you have to balance competing priorities as president -- not choose one ideology's inducements over all others -- shows how committed he is to deliberation and to fact-based policy.  Those who are saying that Obama reminds them of Bush would do well to keep this in mind.  Yes, he may have started with 9/11 -- but this speech, in every respect, is a parade of logic and deliberation and facts, caged in by harsh fiscal reality.  No crusader here.


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Realy president Obama largely bypassed his usual appeals to American hopes and values....Obama seemed to take for granted that the unpopular, confusing war will never again be a cherished national cause.

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