July 25, 2011

IRA STOLL: Boehner Was Better:

President Obama, in his televised talk tonight, trotted out the same false choices he provided in his USA Today oped. The same objections apply. He draped himself in Reagan, as I predicted in my column last week. He was more pointed and aggressive than he’s been in some other recent appearances in aiming at the ‘wealthiest,’ a term he used four times in a short speech. His delivery, particularly early on, was awkward, with almost a deer-in-the-headlights uncomfortable look. . . .

Speaker Boehner, by contrast, was a refreshing surprise, much better than expected. He got off some excellent lines. My favorite was this: “The president has often said we need a ‘balanced’ approach — which in Washington means: we spend more. . .you pay more…..the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. ” He went on, “right now, we have a government so big and so expensive it’s sapping the drive of our people…There is no symptom of big government more menacing than our debt. Break its grip, and we begin to liberate our economy and our future.”

Where it all goes from here is anyone’s guess, but my bet is that it will be some time before Mr. Obama agrees to go on television in prime time if he knows the Republicans are going to have a chance to reply afterward in the same prime time.

Well, stay tuned.

UPDATE: Reader Rosie Moore emails: “OK, Glenn, I’m obviously too engaged in this debt debate but Boehner said just what I wanted to hear. I’ll now take the dog out for a walk whistling a nice Springsteen melody – No Surrender. Sappy, yes, but I’m optimistic our reps will call Obama’s rhetorical bluff.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Another reader emails: “I tried to write Boehner and congratulate him for a great response to the President’s speech tonight by using his website’s ‘contact’ link. But the page locked and then I eventually got a message stating ‘Server Too Busy’. I wonder if the server is getting too many other congrats and kudos from many concerned citizens like me. I hope so. He did a fine job, tonight.”

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