Lists are popular these days. Politico Kate Glueck made a list of Obama’s ten best lines from the State of the Union. Historians may one day look back to February 12, 2013 and say “President Obama was America’s best one liner President."
While the economy trends downward and bipartisanship has slipped away, the feel-good President is still stumping with one liners. Look who is listening closely, Joe Biden.
I paid a ticket to see the magician pull something from the hat, and to make John Boehner disappear. Well, the President made Boehner a stand out. He was behind the President and at one point I thought that he was going to have a crying spell. Later, I noticed he was blowing his nose. I think that he was coming down with a cold.
The main idea that the President communicated last night is that he is trying hard and wants Congress to try harder. Our imperfect government will gain forgiveness from trying hard, even when it is failing.
I am going to work on some lists.
“1. On climate change: “We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science — and act before it’s too late.”
2. On urging Congress to take up gun control proposals: “Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence — they deserve a simple vote.”
3. On entitlements: “After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that promote growth?”
4. On tax and entitlement reform: “The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”
5. On infrastructure proposals: “And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings” [smiling]
6. On immigration: “Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship — a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.”
7. On families: “And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for lower-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood — what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.”
8. On political transitions in the Middle East: “We know the process will be messy, and we cannot…dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt, but we can — and will — insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people.”
9. On the military: “We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families — gay and straight.”
10. On counter-terrorism: “And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans.”