Wes Pruden hopes the TOTUS can take the strain this week:
This is a big week for the president’s teleprompter. He’s first taking it across the Potomac for a speech urging schoolchildren to wash their hands, study hard and stay in school.
Good advice for everyone, no doubt, and maybe the advice will stimulate the sale of soap to people who really need it. Politicians particularly should take to heart a presidential admonition to keep their hands clean. Who can argue with that? Democrats everywhere are looking for places where the applause will be at least polite, with no yelling, screaming and waving of hands. The Secret Service, which never sleeps, can keep its guns holstered at a high school in middle-class suburban Virginia, where the kids are usually unarmed and likely to pay attention to the rare president in their midst.
The reception Wednesday night on Capitol Hill, for the president’s speech to an unusual joint session of Congress, will be a little different. There will be no one to throw a soft tomato or a rotten egg; this audience will be a wrack of frightened rabbits begging the president for a lifeline (or at least a carrot). Congress is back in town after a month on the Western front, and still befuddled and a little shellshocked from taking fire from angry constituents. Nobody wants what the president is selling, insofar as anybody can figure out exactly what he’s selling. The magic elixir may be the president himself, and lately nobody’s buying that, either.
Steve Green quips, “Already, 23 Democratic congressmen have said they’ll vote no on the giant health care package. But if President Obama’s big speech tomorrow night is as effective as the first 27 (or 111, depending on how you count them) then by the weekend, that number could be up to 30, 35.” Mary Katharine Ham adds, it’s a “Bad Day for the ‘Public’ Option.”
(Incidentally, you can follow the travails of the TOTUS on Twitter — his hardworking CPU somehow manages to find time for plenty of field reports, in between his paying gig…)