What was the point of President Obama’s speech yesterday, exactly? The speech had been billed as a major “re-framing” of Obama’s economic policy, but over the course of 54 minutes Obama uttered 6,730 words but somehow managed to say nothing. Americans that are paid to listen to Obama were not amused at having their time completely wasted. Here are just some of the reactions:
MSNBC’s Mike O’Brien: “In terms of politics, this speech could have ended about 20 minutes ago.”
BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller: “There is nothing new in this speech.”
National Journal‘s Josh Kraushaar: “Obama’s speech sounds awfully similar to the one he delivered in front of Paul Ryan at GWU…”
The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank: “I had high hopes for President Obama’s speech on the economy. But instead of going to Ohio on Thursday with a compelling plan for the future, the president gave Americans a falsehood wrapped in a fallacy.”
MSNBC’s Jonathan Alter: “I thought this, honestly, was one of the least successful speeches I’ve seen Barack Obama give in several years.”
Since Obama did not say anything new yesterday, when his speech finally did end, Mitt Romney’s campaign was able to get up a response video in mere minutes. Their rebuttal began with clips of President Bill Clinton saying in 2010, “Give us two more years. If it doesn’t work, vote us out,” and Obama saying in 2009, “I will be held accountable. I’ve got four years. If I don’t have this done in three years then this is going to be a one-term proposition.” It then contrasted those statements with Obama’s admission yesterday that, “Of course the economy isn’t where it needs to be. Of course we have a lot more work to do. Everybody knows that.”
And that is Obama’s biggest problem. Everybody knows his policies have failed to turn the economy around. And no 6,000, 7,000, or even 10,000 word speech can change that. The only question is how much more of our time Obama plans to waste before he figures that out.
Polls: A new Foster, McCollum, White & Associates poll shows Romney almost tied with Obama in Michigan, 47 to 46 percent.
Around the Bigs
CNN, Jobless claims on the rise: The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits climbed last week, indicating continued trouble for the labor market.
Reuters, U.S. foreclosures up for 1st time in 27 months: U.S. foreclosure starts rose year-over-year in May for the first time in more than two years as banks resumed dealing with distressed properties after a mortgage abuse settlement earlier this year, data firm RealtyTrac said on Thursday.
The Los Angeles Times, Costs exceed results in Medicaid fraud program: An audit program meant to combat Medicaid fraud has cost taxpayers about $102 million since 2008 while identifying less than $20 million in overpayments, according to a report released by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office on Thursday.
The Washington Post, In Greece, the money flowed freely, until it didn’t: The torrent of money that flooded into Greece when it joined the euro zone paid for roads, boosted wages and helped Constantine Choutlas build a major construction company. But all that cash did not build a competitive economy.
The Wall Street Journal, Worries Grow Spain Will Need Broader Aid: Spain’s borrowing costs jumped to a euro-era record 6.931 percent Thursday, fanning concerns that the €100 billion ($125 billion) aid package planned for its banks won’t suffice to stave off a much larger bailout for the entire country.
The New York Times, Blow to Transition as Court Dissolves Egypt’s Parliament: A panel of judges appointed by Egypt’s ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, threw the nation’s troubled transition to democracy into grave doubt Thursday with rulings that dissolved the popularly elected Parliament and allowed the toppled government’s last prime minister to run for president, escalating a struggle by remnants of the old elite to block Islamists from coming to power.
Roll Call, GOP Begins Judge Blockade: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Thursday he was invoking the Thurmond Rule, the doctrine holds that within six months of a presidential election, the opposition party can, and typically does, refuse to allow votes on circuit court judges.
The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York explains why Obama always talks about the last 27 months, not the last 40 months he’s been in office.
Fox News points out that IDs were required to see Obama’s speech yesterday, but are not needed to vote in Ohio.
At CNN, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., talks about his bill to require a warrant before law enforcement can use drones to spy on Americans.
RedState‘s Daniel Horowitz warns Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., against supporting amnesty.
The American Prospect‘s Jamelle Bouie warns Democrats not to rely on Hispanic population growth to guarantee future electoral victories.
At CNN Sandra Fluke says she is voting for Obama because he promised to pay for her birth control forever.
Talking Points Memo reports that the stock photo used by the RNC for its Latino outreach site is actually a photo of Asians.