POTUS recollects historical moments when defeat loomed large: landing at Normandy, bloody civil rights marches, Bull Run, etc. Good move.
9:16 Americans share stubborn resilience in face of adversity. Extolls American spirit. All rise to applaud.
9:17 populist: we all hate the bank bailout
9:18 defends bailout (and Geithner, who had a bad day)
9:20 banks can afford to pay back taxpayers, their rescuers
9:21 “We cut taxes” even Republicans smile
9:22 the Recovery Act has worked. Republicans sit stonily
9:24 “Jobs must be our focus in 2010” Entire hall gets to its feet. That’s a no-brainer
9:26 new small business tax credit: everybody up!
9:30 Sock it to ’em! And to the critics that say he aimed too high, tried to do too much: “How long should America put its future on hold?” Other nations are forging ahead. “Well I do not accept second-place for the United States of America.” Even the Republicans can’t hold back on that one.
9:35 financial reform, clean energy
9:44 “Let’s clear a few things up.” Health care. Good humor, levity, then the current disastrous situation
9:45 shout-out to wife Michelle, for leading initiative to combat childhood obesity
9:47 pledges to stand behind people: “I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber.” To congress: don’t walk away from reform. “Let’s get it done.”
9:49 setting the record straight:
At the beginning of the last decade, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion. By the time I took office, we had a one year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. That was before I walked in the door.
Yes! Tell it like it is– Stop letting the Republicans frame the narrative.
10:00 divisiveness and the filibuster: “we need to govern.”
To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve some problems, not run for the hills. And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership.
10:06 pledges to bring troops back from Iraq by this August. Reminds us that he’s made the largest commitment to veterans in decades. And at last, repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Will he follow through?
10:18 Tries to combat the cynicism that’s trying to bring him down.
But remember this – I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I can do it alone. Democracy in a nation of three hundred million people can be noisy and messy and complicated.
We don’t quit. I don’t quit.
That’s what we need to hear.