Monday, February 14, 2011

James Fallows on Obama's SOTU speech

This is the link

Notable quotes:
RE: What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

Fallow says: "One of the actual “ideas” of the speech, returned to with the RFK quote near the end. The future is unknown, outcomes both good and bad are possible, nothing is set by fate, etc. (then, later in the speech) As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” "

: an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.
Fallow says "
IMO, this is the way to sell these projects. Whether that will have any influence during the budget debates of the next two years...."

RE: In fact, to every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child -- become a teacher. Your country needs you.
Fallow says "Nice idea"

The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it’s because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong

Fallow says: "Quite a remarkable penultimate paragraph! By federal law -- no, OK, just by custom -- Presidents must work in the line “The State of the Union is [some variant on ‘strong’]” as an important part of the speech. But it’s often right up at the top of the speech, or as the end of the introduction -- as a transition to the policy chat.

To have the whole speech serve as, in effect, the logical basis for concluding that the State of the Union is strong today -- that’s unusual, and supports the observation that there’s a stronger logical core to this speech than most."

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