Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Obama looked more like a President last night than at any time since his inauguration speech!
by Charlie Leck

The man I voted for in 2008, who took office on a January day three years ago, finally stepped in out of the cold and dark, and spoke up last night as he did in the 2008 campaign. And he did it not a moment too soon; for his loyal followers, of which I am one, were about to abandon him. We needed the Barrack Obama who got elected by the great American middle class to speak up for those who put him in office.

Now, we who voted him into office must be prepared to hold his feet to the coals. He must not back-slide or recant. He must stay firm and committed to the things he said in his State of the Union address last evening. He must!

In a New York Times editorial this morning there was qualified praise for the speech

“…the country’s problems are profound. There are 13.1 million unemployed, and the risk of stagnation is real. Republican candidates are pounding on the wrong, but seductive, notion that the real problem is government spending – especially on the ‘others’ the poor and minorities. Congressional Republicans have barely wavered in their obstructionism.
“Mr. Obama has become steadily more assertive, but he will have to push even harder. The State of the Union address was a chance to do that, and he did not squander it.

As the President said last night…

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

Obama was tough last night. The question is obvious: Can he be tough under fire when negotiating with the Speaker, who, for the moment anyway, controls a majority of the votes in the House?

We will know soon enough – even long before the launch of the campaign following the Democratic National Convention. If President Obama stands firm, speaking softly, but carrying a big stick*, he’ll get reelected and return the House of Representatives to Democratic Party control. Then we'll get people back to work as we rebuild both our economy and our country.

Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.
*It was in 1901, at the Minnesota State Fair, that Vice President Theodore Roosevelt first used the expression: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” The date was September 2nd and twelve days later President William McKinley would be assassinated, opening the door to the presidency to Roosevelt.


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