Ahead of the State of the Union speech by America’s 44th President, questions continue to swirl concerning who Mr. Obama is and exactly for what he stands.
Prof. Jacobson at LegalInsurrection takes on this meme:
Obama may be everything good, or the promise Obama embodies may just be a figment of our own imagination.
Obama is the perfect vehicle for imagining hope, because he has almost no record. Obama is a blank canvas upon which we can paint our imagined hope. …
Barack Obama also reminds me of many lawyers I have dealt with in my career. He’s the smooth talking lawyer on TV who will get you “the settlement you deserve.” … He is a paper lawyer who fools only his own clients.
Bob Herbert of The New York Times produced an op-ed piece in which he questions “Obama’s Credibility Gap:”
Americans are still looking for the answer, and if they don’t get it soon — or if they don’t like the answer — the president’s current political problems will look like a walk in the park.
Mr. Obama may be personally very appealing, but he has positioned himself all over the political map: the anti-Iraq war candidate who escalated the war in Afghanistan; the opponent of health insurance mandates who made a mandate to buy insurance the centerpiece of his plan; the president who stocked his administration with Wall Street insiders and went to the mat for the banks and big corporations, but who is now trying to present himself as a born-again populist.
Mr. Obama is in danger of being perceived as someone whose rhetoric, however skillful, cannot always be trusted. He is creating a credibility gap for himself, and if it widens much more he won’t be able to close it. …
Mr. Obama will deliver his State of the Union address Wednesday night. The word is that he will offer some small bore assistance to the middle class. But more important than the content of this speech will be whether the president really means what he says. Americans want to know what he stands for, where his line in the sand is, what he’ll really fight for, and where he wants to lead this nation.
They want to know who their president really is.
No, Mr. President, the difference between 1994 and 2010 is not you — well, unless you don’t mind your 0-4 record of failures on the stump (e.g.: Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and bringing the Olympic games to Chicago).
In fact, as TalkingPointsMemo points out, Indonesian officials are considering a petition — with 55,000 individuals in favor on Facebook — for a bronze statue in the country to be taken down after it had been erected just last month. Apparently even other countries have doubts as to the actual success of the President.
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And, of course, questions about the President include those concerning eligibility, with recent news to report.
The Sacramento Bee has an albeit biased article discussing the fact that “Tea-party allies include Obama birth site skeptics.”
TPM also reports that former Arizona GOP Representative J.D. Hayworth — currently a challenger to Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary — continues to question the President’s eligibility (his first foray into the subject was via his radio show on KFYI — actual MP3 archive):
Perhaps a good sneak-peek of the SOTU might be “Art in Idaho’s” rendition.
Late Update: HotAir.com has just run a story entitled, “Dem’s new midterm strategy: Make the election about … Birtherism.” Here’s an embedded video from the posting:
Yeah, that “birther” issue is really going to go away (sarcasm intended).
See the following links regarding the eligibility saga:
- The background:
- The questions:
- The State Department and Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) Natural Born Citizen Resolution (April 10, 2008)
Photo courtesy SpreadIt.org