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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Obama Then and Now

We went back 1,818 days to one of the first speeches Barack Obama gave as the 44th president. Back to Feb. 12, 2009, less than a month from his first morning in office when he grandly announced the imminent closing of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.
There he was in East Peoria, Ill., at the massive Caterpillar factory, selling his then-$879 billion stimulus spending plan wending its way through the two Democrat-controlled houses of Congress. But you know what struck us as we read down memory lane?
It's us that's changed. wiser now about this president's wily words. Obama hasn't changed a bit. Well, not much. He's changed in two minor ways.
As his poll numbers and trust have shrunk, his speeches have grown longer, much longer. As if throwing additional speeches and words at a public falling out of love with him will persuade more people. Like he threw so much of our money at so many not-really shovel-ready projects that were going to thrust us out of the recession.

The Peoria pitch was barely 2,000 words long, just 15 minutes. Today's typical "remarks" are usually at least twice as long, even more.
His State of the Union last week to a Congress with only one Democrat-controlled chamber was more than 7,000 words long, 65 full minutes. Which seemed like 95 because we've heard the same things over and over. And over. And over.
Also, as a two-termer Obama refers to himself a lot more now. He says "I" all the time, usually 40 or more per speech. In Peoria it was "just" 20.