Wednesday, February 13, 2013
We journalists always love fact-checking. Here's an assessment from the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler. A sample?
From Obama: "After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over 6 million new jobs."
Kessler's assessment: "The president is cherry-picking a number that puts the improvement in the best possible light. The low point in jobs was reached in February 2010, and the there has indeed been a gain of about 6 million jobs since then... But the data also show that since the start of the presidencey, about 1.2 million have been created - and the number of jobs in the economy is about 3.2 million fewer than when the recession began in December 2007."
A quick hit of takeaways from the speech comes from columnist Chris Cillizza: His five? Obama goes big on guns, Obama expresses his vision of government - not bigger government but smarter government, Obama makes a major play for climate change, Obama gives voting rights advocates a victory and Obama talks about the economy, "kind of." What were your takeaways?
The speech got good marks, according to polling, from most viewers. The CNN/ORC poll released after Obama's address on Tuesday found that 53 percent of viewers said they had a "very positive" reaction. The poll also found that 24 percent of viewers said they had a "somewhat positive" response to Obama's speech and 22 percent said they had a negative response to the speech.
But it got whacked by conservative and liberal columnists.
On the liberal side, Matt Miller called it "Obama's hollow speech." He said "Obama’s framework was exactly right... But when you look at the details the White House put out on the president’s proposals, it’s less clear that he’s offering real answers... Even if Obama’s agenda becomes law, after eight years of the most progressive president in memory, America will still be a country in which work is less well-rewarded, college is far costlier, and poor children’s life chances more limited by accident of birth than in virtually every other wealthy nation. American exceptionalism indeed."
On the conservative side, Jennifer Rubin had this to say: "If you were expecting a speech with no connection to the real economic problems we face and no concern about our crippling debt, then President Obama’s State of the Union did not disappoint... Like his inaugural speech, Tuesday’s address has no bearing on the real legislative agenda nor on our economic situation. The debt is crushing the economy, yet the president spends with abandon. Growth remains anemic, yet he raises taxes and labor costs. We are flush with energy, yet he strangles the economy with uber-regulation. And we face a world of threats, yet he hollows out the military. It was a standard issue wish list, with little poetry or uplift, and even less smart policy."
By the way, Obama wasn't the only one with guests at Tuesday's speech. North Carolina's Sen. Kay Hagan said that she "was honored to have Terry Marquez of Aberdeen" as her guest. "Terry’s presence reminds us that we cannot forget the sacrifices her son, Sgt. Justin Marquez, and so many brave Americans and their families have made protecting our country."
North Carolina is the first stop for Obama as he tries to sell the initiatives he outlined in the State of the Union speech. He's already in Asheville for a speech.
Posted by Fannie Flono at 12:31 PM