Patterico's Pontifications


Pres. Obama’s historic speech to somebody

Filed under: General — Karl @ 12:02 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Tonight, Pres. Obama is giving a speech on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress. Undoubtedly, it will be “historic,” at least to the nighttime staff at MSNBC. It probably is the first time that a president has delivered a major speech to children two days in a row.

But to whom is Pres. Obama really speaking? Congress? Even a partisan Soros hack like Matthew Yglesias acknowledges that the speech is not going to change any minds there. After the speech, Congress is going to have the same problems it had before the speech, primarily that the Democrats’ plans all inevitably involve a lot of unpopular taxes and unpopular spending and scare the vast majority of people who are already insured.

Is Obama speaking to the American people? He’s been doing that for over a month. While lefty publications make the understandably modest claim that Obama and ObamaCare “survived” August, public opinion polls show that Obama was less popular and ObamaCare was more unpopular at the end of August than at the end of July. If the ABC News double-infomercial, the primetime press conference, the daytime press conference, the town halls in New Hampshire, Colorado, Montana, Virginia, etc., and the massive astroturf campaign put on by HCAN all failed, why should this speech succeed?

Is Obama speaking to political news junkies as opinion leaders? Not really. To the contrary, early reports suggest the speech will not contain any big news.

Obama will endorse a government-run insurance plan (as usual), but will not demand one (as usual). Off the record, the White House admits the “public option” is off the table, as House Maj. Ldr. Steny Hoyer and Maj. Whip Jim Clyburn start tiptoeing for the exit. The leaders of the progressive caucus’s reputation continue to demand a “robust” government plan, but the rank and file aren’t necessarily following. In the Senate, even Olympia Snowe seems to be drifting away from the project. Obama may offer a few more details in his speech, but has put off offering his own draft legislation (most likely to extend the news cycle). The legislative process has been headed toward health insurance reforms and an individual mandate for a while, which is why progressives have been preparing to be disappointed with this speech since last week. The Right has little motivation to watch, beyond the prospect of playing Obama Health-Care Speech Bingo.

Accordingly, the self-selected audience for the speech will likely skew in favor of Obama, something to remember if the establishment media does a poll of people who watched the speech. Otherwise, the biggest beneficiaries of tonight’s speech are the cast and crew of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” and “Glee,” which should do boffo ratings.


64 Responses to “Pres. Obama’s historic speech to somebody”

  1. The Republican response will be the big story tomorrow I think.

    Charles Boustany. Who tf is Charles Boustany? We’ll find out I guess.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. oh. Glee is back on??? Thanks I did not know. The pilot was the best treacle ever I thought. I was very charmed. You can go see it on Hulu if you missed it.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  3. The Right needs to watch to be prepared to counter whatever claims Obama makes tonight (although they can probably work up their rebuttal pre-speech). The last thing the Right can afford is to let Obama’s claims go unchallenged (not that the MSM will give any credibility to the Right’s rebuttal, but a vacuum would be far worse).

    Obama’s audience is the public, he’s hoping for a few point bump that he can use to persuade the reluctant Dems that voting for Obamacare won’t cost them their seats… as well as maybe scoring a crossover Republican or two.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  4. I’d be surprised steve sturm if Obama did anything but repeat the already debunked talking points he’s repeated for months. And which already drove the popularity of healthcare legislation down, and his own polling down as well.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  5. Which is the better result, politically, for Obama:

    He passes some kind of health care bill that is a total disaster, costs a lot of money, and at least a couple of people die in some NHS-esque baloney

    He doesn’t pass any bill and blames the GOP

    Juan (bd4b30)

  6. This reminds me that I will not be watching TV tonite. Did Mathews, Olbergasm, and MadCow get all wet and pop their collective corks yet?

    JD (070a63)

  7. I’ll be surprised if we’re not treated to more of his usual amorphous statements: we need healthcare reform; it won’t cost more to add 45 million people to the system, and will cost if we do nothing; only those are are evil, selfish, narrow-minded oppose this; etc. Then the MSM will poll both Obama supporters who watched it and declare that a majority of Americans support the President’s health care reform policies, whatever they are.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  8. once again i have reason to rejoice in the fact that the converter boxes we bought are not compatible with our TV, and as such, our house has more or less been TV free since the great switch over, except for when HRH remembers to turn on the Dish box.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  9. Juan, probably passing a bill, disaster or no. The bills in Congress are being designed not to take effect for several years – so Obama will work to avoid being associated with the failure.

    He can’t successfully blame the GOP for a bill failing to pass with Democrat majorities. They’ll own the failure to pass and show Congressional ineptitude that will lead to losing their majorities in 2010.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. SPQR: dislike him we do, but he isn’t stupid. thus, he’s unlikely to do the same thing as before but expect a different result. He’ll do or say something different.

    Juan: the former, the latter confirms his lack of political power. and remember, the bill doesn’t take effect until after the 2012 election.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  11. What I’m waiting for is to hear Matthews sing, “The Thrill is Gone…”

    MD in Philly (d4f9fa)

  12. steve sturm, he’ll do exactly the same thing because he does not have any other rhetorical tools.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  13. And by the way, the lag time is an opening for the opposition. As Sowell put it yesterday, if there is such a crisis, why doesn’t it take effect until after the next election? why do the taxes kick in before the benefits?

    what a great chant for the left: ‘What do we want?’… ‘Public Option’… ‘When do we want it?’… ‘Ah, sometime off in the distant future’

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  14. Steve at #10, you have a great point. If the consequences aren’t felt until after the election, Obama can obviously pass a disaster.

    You’re also right that Obama ain’t stupid. Sadly, for me, as he makes more sense to my fragile little mind if he’s just mistaken about everything and not out to destroy.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  15. I like it when he keeps going on the telly every single farkin’ time he starts drowning in his own hubris – every subsequent TV appearance inevitably leaves his approval ratings escalating downward. Watch what happens after this latest narcissistic love – fest; a big collective “meh” from the populace.

    And I do believe that while he’s definitely a smart guy, he’s quite low on the emotional intelligence scale – in fact, he demonstrates repeatedly the air of one who doesn’t possess any at all. It’s killing him right now, and it’s going to destroy him if he doesn’t change course immediately – but he doesn’t recognize his problems in the first place, so forget about it.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  16. It should come as no surprise that you all are being overtly racist. The codewords are just flowing from your fingers like whiskey from the casks at a Kennedy party.

    JD (a7fa4a)

  17. dmac, Obama’s such a new leader. I can’t imagine the burden he’s under, having no experience. He relies on his circle of advisers in a way no other leader ever has in the history of civilization.

    Will they tell him he comes across as a narcissist? Sure, they will write his speeches to include a bit of deprecation, but will they level with Obama? Can Obama handle tough criticism? Bush could, and the Iraq war was saved as a result. But most leaders learn lessons at a lower level, with lower stakes. I keep getting this scent of desperation from the white house… I don’t think they are thinking very long term anymore. Just get through the news cycle.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  18. CBS News WH correspondent Mark Knoller tweets:

    He’ll make some familiar arguments we’ve heard before in the 28 other speeches on health care he’s given.

    Karl (f07e38)

  19. Garrison Keillor had a stroke. Let’s hope he hangs in there so we don’t have to all lie about how sad it is.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  20. Man, Palin’s health care op-ed in the WSJ has the administration and their fifth column in the fourth estate all wee-wee’d up

    She’s the only Rethug! that they called out by name in the talking points for tonights Obamapalooza…

    Bob Reed (99fc1b)

  21. Karl – If you ever want your IQ to plummet, follow the tweets from Rick Sanchez.

    happyfeet is not right.

    JD (cd470a)

  22. oh. It’s just I think I remember Mr. Keillor came up this week is all. Something about him being a homophobic dirty socialist ponce. I didn’t bring him up it was someone else.

    Now he’ll be a homophobic dirty socialist ponce what is an expert on all things health care. So that’ll be nice.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  23. oh. Note to Mr. Keillor. You might want to turn off the tv tonight when Mr. Boustany comes on. Just humor me ok slugger?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  24. Agree the Big O is not stupid. But I have been trying to think of something new he could say that would have any credibility… that would make this bill seem Fresh and New!!… hopey and changey…

    and I can’t think of anything. Making such a big deal out of a speech with nothing new will make O look ineffective. Big O needs a refresher on Create a Crisis 101.

    Heard on Hannity that Baucus says the Senate is unlikely to pass anything with the public option. Pelosi says anything without the public option will not pass the House. The Blue Dogs are saying they’ll vote against the public option. The Black Caucus says if the bill goes without the public option, they will work to undermine Obama.

    Perfect storm, without even considering the GOP.

    jodetoad (059c35)

  25. Who believes the liberals will vote against a bill that doesn’t have an explicit public option? Yeah, me neither.

    This is why it is important for the GOP to line up other problems with the proposal (such as Palin’s ‘death panels’)… they can’t have the wind taken out of their sails when the Dems reluctantly give up on the public option.

    suggestions? how about forcing people to buy insurance or pay a tax? how about taxes on employers who don’t provide insurance? or real enforcement against illegals getting subsidies? or my favorite, taxing employer provided health insurance if the government deems it ‘extravagant’?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  26. I like steve sturm’s point above. They want to tax the holy hell out of people immediately, but do not want the pubic option to go into effect until after the next Presidential cycle. Cowards. And, they know it is likely to destroy everything.

    JD (89af33)

  27. Obviously, I linked to Knoller merely to note that if the CBS drone is snarking on how pointless the speech is, it’s pretty pointless.

    Karl (f07e38)

  28. When the party in total power has to resort to attacking an op – ed by a private citizen you know that’s the ultimate sign of weakness. They just can’t quit her, and the signs of infantilism run amok in the WH are everywhere.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  29. steve sturm,

    I have been writing against the individual mandate for a while for precisely the reason you mention (see the “individual mandate” link in this post). And I’ll be doing it again soon enough.

    Karl (f07e38)

  30. steve sturm – My health insurance plan will be deemed extravagant, or whatever BS word they will choose to identify it as. It will either be reduced, or we will have the holy hell taxed out of it. Sanchez makes Knoller look like Einstein.

    JD (89af33)

  31. It should come as no surprise that you all are being overtly racist. The codewords are just flowing from your fingers like whiskey from the casks at a Kennedy party. by JD

    Hey JD!

    Where can I find a list of these code words so I can use (or avoid) them as the situation warrants?

    William W (f214ac)

  32. “…why do the taxes kick in before the benefits?…”
    Progressive legislation is like eating at Denny’s:
    You get the check before the entree is served

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  33. So little karl will be watching So You Think You You Can Dance? of course not – like most other adult Americans, he’ll be watching the president. karl of course is is incorrect – Americans are waiting for some real leadership on health care – not the cowardly Democrats – nor the craven and hated Republicans – why is that right wingers love to refer to polls of Obama’s slide – but never offer up one detailing Republican surge… Oh yeah – it doesn’t exist. As much as Americans are fearful of Obama’s health plans – they still trust him – on most if not all issues – including health care, far more than the Democrats in congress – as to the Republicans – they’re despised and hated and seen as trouble makers. Go ahead karl – you got your snark and your two dozen readers- tonight the pres will get in the tens of millions – and you forget how fickle the American public can be – pass health care – when Americans see that grandma is not hauled in front of a Palin death panel – whom do you suppose they believe – you or they’re lying eyes?

    Warpublican (7e90e4)

  34. “That she blows!”

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  35. William – It is kind of like porn. You know ’em when you see ’em, though I have been asking for a list for years. Maybe SEK has one.

    JD (f8b50e)

  36. Sorry, fat-finger syndrome again…

    That Thar she blows!”

    AD - RtR/OS! (5b5739)

  37. That was an incredible pile of drivel, warmonger. Why do you hate reality?

    JD (f8b50e)

  38. This just in – Hillary! may be resigning to run for NY Governor:

    Rudy’s already going for it, so if it happens it’ll be a very interesting race indeed. But if she winds up jumping ship, she’ll have all day to carp and criticize Obama and his minions to her heart’s content. Hilarity ensues.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  39. I didn’t know I had to point to a GOP surge, but among likely voters, Republican Congressional candidates continue to hold a seven-point lead over Democrats on the generic ballot, and Republicans lead Democrats on seven out of 10 key electoral issues, including the top issue of the economy. The GOP is tied with the Dems on healthcare, an issue the Dems have traditionally owned.

    Karl (f07e38)

  40. Individual mandate? How can the feds make it illegal for me not to buy something? What else can they make it illegal for me not to do? Eat my broccoli? Maybe the state can do that, but I really doubt the feds can. The can regulate commerce, but how the hell can they make me engage in particular commerce?

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  41. Warpublican, the Nielson’s will show that few adult Americans will watch Obama’s speech. Your belief that the American public is hanging on the edge of their seat to hear him speak has long ago proven false.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  42. I like the warmonger person thingie. So many memes, talking points, and bizarre punctuation in one comment.

    JD (e7c77f)

  43. The only thing I see is the liar in chief losing even more of his dwindling credibility.

    The free lunch is alive and well … But no one is buying. It’s a story as old as communism itself.

    Is it Castro or is it Obama. You decide.

    bill-tb (365bd9)

  44. I expect him to come out and say, “F*ck the Republicans! We don’t need them anyway…”. How I wish.

    The Emperor who is fed up! (1b037c)

  45. Karl:

    It probably is the first time that a president has delivered a major speech to children two days in a row.

    This is hilarious.

    DRJ (6a2898)

  46. Lovie’s true colors come out. She would get along great with Czar Jones.

    JD (5b1232)

  47. @46

    The Emperor who is trying to be more understanding (1b037c)

  48. Warpublican sounds like Assdoody Clownhead, who also sounded like Hax Vobiscum.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  49. @46
    I laugh in mockery and pity at your unholy obsession for this your dream sukkubus lover: “Lovie”. Is that her name?

    The Emperor who is trying to be more understanding (1b037c)

  50. Is Warpublican channeling Emily Dickinson?

    SPC Jack Klompus (237c0e)

  51. It is intriguing, in a sick way, that Lovie has to regularly interject a projection of its homoerotic fantasies.

    Listen up, Lovie, real close. You are the one who chose Love2008 as a moniker; it wasn’t forced on you. And I refuse to call you by a name you chose in your delusions of grandeur. And, in regard to your phallic obsession, keep it to yourself.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  52. Obama: ‘If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out’

    Joe Wilson (R-SC) returns the favor … calls out Obama
    Democrats get their collective “tit in a ringer”

    Neo (7830e6)

  53. Hey Patterico – you’ve got a link on RealClearPolitics as ‘best of the blogs’ today.

    As for the speech – same b.s., different day. Guess I need to go ‘flag’ myself on the White House mailing list again.

    Throw out a few ‘executive order’ bones about ‘trial’ malpractice reform ‘studies’, repeat the same canards about how everything will be cheaper and better for more people, and of course those dirty illegals aren’t included (nudge nudge wink wink, if we don’t “know” they’re illegal at the time we give care because there’s no enforcement/ID provision, that’s just bad luck ain’t it?), and call it conciliatory. Misrepresent what’s already in the proposals now, while sternly noting any ‘misrepresentations’ by others will be dealt with. At least this time he didn’t threaten an IRS audit.

    I really thought the Republican extreme evangelical Right was supposed to be the worst for holier-than-thou sanctimony. But this narcissist just takes the cake.

    That said, I wish Wilson kept his mouth shut. Heckling a standing president, no matter how lower case I choose to type that, is just going to give the blind believers something shiny to latch onto as a distraction.

    rtrski (cc159e)

  54. I can’t believe Obama failed to address the #1 concern of voters…the thing that caused support for health care reform to evaporate in the first place. And that’s cost; how we’ll pay for it. Obama’s claim that the entire thing will be paid for by eliminating the waste from Medicare is a child’s fantasy. Nobody could possibly swallow this nonsense; unless they WANT to swallow it.

    JohnR (02ca29)

  55. just conducted a national study with 951 viewers of President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress in which he focused on his plan for healthcare reform. Results showed that more than half of all political parties reported that the speech was “somewhat or extremely effective. The study also found that the majority of Democrats reported that they have a better perception of healthcare reform after viewing Obama’s speech, while Republicans’ perceptions are relatively unchanged and Independents were split on their reactions to the speech. More in-depth results can be viewed at

    Ben (d18c24)

  56. I love comment/blog spam

    JD (5f5402)

  57. Fact checking the President’s speech:

    Beth Frederick (f89b45)

  58. […] Yesterday, in asking who the audience was for this speech, I noted that “the self-selected audience for the speech will likely skew in favor of Obama, something to remember if the establishment media does a poll of people who watched the speech.” There was nothing oracular about this prediction. As Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal noted before the speech: (1) instant response polls measure only speech-watchers; (2) the audience is usually skewed toward the President’s fans; (3) instant reactions tend to fade; and (4) some pollsters have reservations about instant reaction polls in general. […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Pres. Obama’s historic speech to somebody, Pt. 2 (e2f069)

  59. Did Obama Move the Meter?…

    John Hinderaker at Power Line helpfully reports that before President Barack H. Obama’s grand address on ObamaCare, the Rasmussen tally stood at 44% of likely voters supporting, 53% opposing. John concludes: Those numbers have been pretty much stable …

    Big Lizards (5ca406)

  60. As I predicted, Nielsens’ show the viewership way down from earlier Obama snorefests.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  61. […] as the enigmatic and mercurial “Karl” reports on Patterico’s Pontifications and on Hot Air’s rogues’ gallery, nobody but diehard Obamaniacs and weed-dwelling […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » Did Obama Move the Meter? (e2f069)

  62. […] as the enigmatic and mercurial “Karl” reports on Patterico’s Pontifications and on Hot Air’s rogues’ gallery, nobody but diehard Obamaniacs and weed-dwelling […]

    Did Obama Move the Meter? | America Watches Obama (4ab9a2)

  63. Enigmatic and mercurial.

    You go, “Karl.”

    happyfeet (6b707a)

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