Obama Comes Out Swinging in Cleveland
Yesterday in Cleveland, President Obama came out of his corner swinging. Pundits have been counting the President out of late, but if he was beaten and bruised when he entered the ring today, he shook it off like Rocky Balboa.
Speaking at the Cuyahoga Community College West Campus in Parma, Ohio, he had barely finished his opening remarks when he lit into the GOP. Immediately on the offensive, Obama tore into the opposition by blasting their 8-year reign with a political philosophy that clearly was - and still is - government for the elite few.
According to Obama, he ran for president in order to correct what the Republican philosophy has wrought. The President started with a four punch combination: first were their tax cuts — “especially for millionaires and billionaires,” which he immediately followed with their deregulation — “for special interests.” Then a body blow on their trade deals — “even if they didn’t benefit our workers,” and another punch to the gut on cutting back investment — “in our people and in our future – in education and clean energy, in research and technology.”
He followed the combo with an overhand smash, that demanded acknowledgement from anyone listening, “The idea was that if we just had blind faith in the market, if we let corporations play by their own rules, if we left everyone else to fend for themselves that America would grow and America would prosper.” And thus the tempo of the fight was set, and the contrast in philosophy defined.
What did America get with all those “sound” Republican policies? As the President termed it, the people got “the illusion of prosperity.” Obama briefly commiserated with the Buckeye audience who has been hurt so badly through job loss, stating that job growth during the Bush years was slower than in any economic expansion since WW2 — and he added — “slower than it’s been over the last year.”
The President finished the picture by recalling how income for the middle class stagnated while costs climbed, especially for tuition and healthcare. He also linked this dynamic of lower wages and higher costs to the reactive increase in personal debt that paid for the “illusion.” And with the Republicans on the ropes, the President added that their failure to pay for two wars and two tax cuts for the wealthy had turned a record budget surplus into a record deficit.
Thus began the final 8-week countdown to Election 2010. President Obama was in fighting trim, or campaign form as the case may be. He started with drawing the contrast between left and right and then punctuated his entire speech with references to the America he believes in, “An America that took pride in the goods that we made, not just the things we consumed. An America where a rising tide really did lift all boats, from the company CEO to the guy on the assembly line.”Continued on the next page