THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

State of the Union by any other measure

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on February 26, 2009

newsDespite the massive challenges faced by the new President, he’s maintained quite a bit of composure and ease over the past month – a quality that makes him rather strong and solid as Commander-in-Chief.  The constant communication and focus on transparency (from simple efforts like a user-friendly White House website and Recovery.gov to frequent face time before the press) is putting him in a position of public strength. Overall, he’s done rather well this past month, particularly as he continues pressing for bipartisan cooperation amid Republican pettiness.

However, while understanding the necessity of an honest and frank ‘keep it real’ approach, the President would be wise to turn the somber tone down a notch.  He did that by far in his unofficial State of the Union before Congress. Some may argue that he’s been doing that the whole time.  Others may argue that he should continue keeping it real so he can claim major credit when the nation turns the corner.  But, there had been a noticeable grimness in the President’s tone as of late – we attest that to his finding the dirt under the White House rug, so to speak.  Finding the skeletons and dirty baggage in the closet when his predecessor finally left.  It must have been and still is very depressing – and it took him some time to grasp the magnitude of it.

Yes: we did inherit a mess.  Still: the American public is past the problem identification phase: and we appreciate his keeping us updated on how bad it really is.  But, depression is just as much a mental dynamic as it economic. Hence, more emphasis should be placed on problem resolution and helping people visualize the light at the end of the tunnel.  We saw light at the end of the tunnel that night before Congress. We’re not saying he should sugarcoat the issue or bamboozle expectations – we’re simply saying that he can also use his bully pulpit to keep it slightly upbeat and motivational.

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