Christian Science Monitor: Obama speech 'both bold and modest'
When you're madly in love with a woman, it is perfectly natural to hold contradictory views on some of her personality traits. She can be warm - and distant. She can be friendly - or catty.
The Christian Science Monitor's love affair with Obama is so intense, they couldn't decide whether he was being bold in offering new initiatives, or modest in offering initatives he had offered before.
I am not joking:
President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union laid out an expansive vision for government efforts to help boost the American middle class, called upon Congress to finally pass comprehensive immigration reform, announced that the US effort in Afghanistan will end next year, and made an emotional plea for greater restrictions on firearms that invoked the heartache bullets have wrought in Newtown, Conn.; Aurora, Colo.; Tucson, Ariz.; Blacksburg, Va.; and every other town in the nation touched by gun violence.
The speech was modest in the sense that it touched upon many of the president's longstanding proposals, as opposed to new, sweeping initiatives.
As he did in the campaign, Mr. Obama offered some reductions in the nation's big health-care entitlement programs in exchange for raising more revenues by closing tax "loopholes." He repeated his push to raise the minimum wage, this time to $9 an hour, instead of the $9.50 per hour he asked for in 2008 as president-elect. The president called for preschool
"It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country - the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love," said Obama.
But the address was bold in another sense: a reelected chief executive did not appear in the mood to bow in the direction of the other party. While he refrained from criticizing Republicans by name and generally steered clear of obvious partisan shots, he outlined a government-centric approach to improving the US that could have been compiled from 2012 stump speeches.
As SOTU's go, it was typically long, typically full of stuff that will never be enacted, and typically banal. It was neither bold, nor modest. It was as interesting as reading a laundry list which, as it so happens, it was.
When a media outlet falls all over itself to spin and spin and spin what a president says until they can make a speech as interesting as listening to someone read from an encyclopedia sound like the second coming of the Gettysburg address, you have to wonder if they realize how stupid they look?