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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Barack Obama really does not have it so bad. He gets $400,000 a year in salary, $50,000 in expenses, a fleet of planes, a car and driver, and almost all the golf he can stand.

In other words, the president’s life is almost as good as Donald Trump’s.

With one major exception: President Obama feels actual remorse. And considerable responsibility. And Trump may never have felt either.

In his last State of the Union speech Tuesday night, President Obama spoke of something presidents rarely speak of at such moments: regret.

Pointing out how “our public life withers when only the most extreme voices get attention,” Obama said, “Most of all, democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn’t matter, that the system is rigged in favor of the rich or the powerful or some narrow interest.”

He went on, “It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency: that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.”

And who is to blame, according to Obama?

Obama is to blame. At least a little.

“There’s no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide,” Obama said, “and I guarantee I’ll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office.”

But he won’t hold the office for very much longer — only a little more than a year. And Obama said that if things are going to improve, somebody else needs to bear some blame around here: you and I.

Which made it an unusual political speech. If there is one rule of politics, one unbreakable commandment, it is this: Thou shalt never blame the voters.

The voters are holy. They can do no wrong. Or, rather, they can be blamed for no wrong. Because if you blame them, they may not vote for your party. And we couldn’t have that, could we?

Yes, we could, said Obama. Because our political spite and meanness have gotten out of control. And that must stop.

“My fellow Americans, this cannot be my task? — or any president’s — alone,” Obama said. “There are a whole lot of folks in this chamber who would like to see more cooperation, a more elevated debate in Washington, but feel trapped by the demands of getting elected. … It’s not enough to just change a congressman or a senator or even a president; we have to change the system to reflect our better selves.”

We must “end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters and not the other way around,” Obama said. “We have to reduce the influence of money in our politics so that a handful of families and hidden interests can’t bankroll our elections.”

In other words: Don’t hold your breath.

No, wait. That’s the kind of cheap cynicism that Obama wants to eradicate or at least reduce.

“What I’m asking for is hard,” he admitted. “It’s easier to be cynical, to accept that change isn’t possible and politics is hopeless and to believe that our voices and actions don’t matter.”

You bet it is! And if you get cynical and hopeless enough, they make you a columnist!

Obama blamed an array of people, most of whom turned out to be Republicans running for president.

Chris Christie was the target when Obama said, “As we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands.”

Ted Cruz was the target when Obama said, “The world will look to us to help solve these problems, and our answer needs to be more than tough talk or calls to carpet-bomb civilians.”

And Trump was the target when Obama said: “When politicians insult Muslims … that doesn’t make us safer. That’s not telling it like it is. It’s just wrong. It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. It betrays who we are as a country.”

Making these statements — as true as they may be — will not do much to decrease the rancor in Washington, however.

Which Obama admits. He is not perfect. Often criticized for being aloof and academic, he is, in fact, proud of his toughness. If you are not tough in the world of today’s politics, nobody will respect you. Which means you have to be tough without being so tough that nobody will work with you, either.

“Our brand of democracy is hard,” Obama said Tuesday night. But there are good people in it who redeem it.

And Obama listed some of them, including “the American who served his time … but now is dreaming of starting over.”

“The protester determined to prove that justice matters.”

“The young cop walking the beat, treating everybody with respect, doing the brave, quiet work of keeping us safe.”

“The son who finds the courage to come out as who he is and the father whose love for that son overrides everything he’s been taught.”

And Obama ended with a Carl Sandburg-like list, saying Americans are “cleareyed, bighearted, undaunted by challenge, optimistic that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Roger Simon is Politico’s chief political columnist. His new e-book, “Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America,” can be found on, and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes the stage at a campaign rally in Windham, New Hampshire, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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34 responses to “State Of The Union Vs. State Of The Trump”

  1. bobnstuff says:

    Think about the tone of the address, Can you see any of the republican candidates ever being able to use his tone.

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      Everything this president said was not what the GOP wanted to hear. They would have preferred more tax dollars wasted on Big Oil and fossil fuels, less money for education and lower and lower wages for the Plantation Nation they are trying to create.

      • jmprint says:

        You are absolutely correct. Plantation Nation. We are only here for our labor, God create us for them, that’s why we weren’t born rich, or with a silver spoon in our mouth.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          The problem is that people up north are fed up getting our butts out of bed at 5 AM 5 days week work till 6PM arrive home at 7:30 PM all while DogPatch Lil Abners and Daisy Maes barely get out of bed by noon. Then, they head off to Walmart and join the rest of the Y’all Qaeda Walmartians who don’t earn living wages compared to other states. These morons believe their poiticians are doing Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for them. Really? Perhaps, they’d like to explain how Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, managed to allow lead in drinking water and then played CYA.

          Americans do not work to death with NOTHING to show for it. We don’t need to be born rich. We also don’t need to have the cards stacked against us by lazy, white men and women who hate the four letter word WORK.

          Our states cannot support theirs and ours too. Why should our states pay for the oil spill cleanups when these idiots know they cause the pollution in the first place? Why should our tax dollars pay for their bloated prison industries?

          • dpaano says:

            Well, one problem is that some of the states have privatized the prisons and now they are complaining because some of the prisons can’t make a profit and are threatening to close down!!! It’s forcing each state to put more individuals in jail just to keep the money coming in. Pretty sad!

          • Buck Ofama says:

            Vote for tax cuts if you don’t like supporting layabouts, fool. But then, you’re one of those layabouts, aren’t you?

    • jmprint says:

      They don’t have the capacity. President Obama is a better man than ALL republicans running for president put together. Their tone is all about themselves, what great men they pretend to be. it’s not about the responsibility that comes with the title, it’s the glitter, the power, the supremacy, the divide and conquer. Those desires will ruin America as we know it.

    • indiokie says:

      He spoke very well and wisely.

  2. latebloomingrandma says:

    It becomes pretty hard to bridge a divide when right after a new POTUS takes the oath, the losers plot how to block him at every turn. That’s not respecting the peoples’ votes in a democracy.

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      Divide and Conquer is all the GOP and right wing in this country know. How else can they live high on the hog our tax dollars provide? They smell blood in the water and they know they are now on a downward flow to the toilet they created.

      That’s why you saw that Twerpie Generation thug, Paul Ryan sitting behind the President “acting as if” he, as 3rd in line to the Presidency, IS the unelected president and smirked his way through the entire SOTU speech.

      • indiokie says:

        I noticed that “smirk” as well. Almost as if he was saying “I dare you”. Damn, these people can’t even respect the office of the President of the United States.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          The reality is that many of conservative middle aged men today think they are the BOSS. They believe they can force their will on the entire country. Their game is to sit on the panels that decide on where our tax dollars will be spent…mostly in Republican states forcing our states to double down on paying taxes.

          When the camera panned to McConnell just as the President mentioned the cost of fossil fuel to taxpayers, I thought McConnell was about to cry. He knows what’s coming. He knows too many up north already are invested in clean energy and it’s unstoppable.

      • dpaano says:

        Yeah, he was worse than having to look at Beaner when he sat behind the president!

  3. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    Actually, though the author of this blurb wants to paint the President in a bad light, it only shows how the Twerpie Generation of immature minds forget that there is a 3rd BIG difference between Trump and the President. …Trump has nearly 2 dozen business related lawsuits pending against him. The President does not.

    Check the U.S. Treasury .gov site. Trump’s Taj Mahal is being sued for laundering money to terrorists. Look for it under the FinCen lawsuit if you need proof.

    Maybe Roger Simon needs to stop pretending to be a news reporter since it’s obvious he loves to omit very very very important facts about Trump. Simon is just another of the quasi infortainment mouthpieces who simply cannot grow up enough to be factual and prefers to lather himself and his right wing minions in bias against this president.

  4. bobnstuff says:

    The President has missed a number of chances to attack the republicans. He never

    points out that the ACA is joint effort of private and public working together. He hasn’t pointed out how the way we fight war has change under him and that the military is moving into the twenty first century. We are updating our Army, Navy and Air Force with new hi tech arms, new ships, new aircraft, new tanks. He also hasn’t pointed out the the government is smaller now then when he took office and that all the job growth has been in the private sector. There are a number of things that he could have pointed out but didn’t.

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      Obama unlike the Republican biggies is a class act they can’t EVER hope to follow. The biggest difference between Obama and the Republicans is that he is able to articulate his communication so clearly that all Americans know exactly where he is coming from. Compare that to Republican double speak you have to read between the lines to figure out what they are trying to say and even then, you can’t trust a word of what they say not to have a double meaning.

      • Buck Ofama says:

        Obama’s Three Biggest Lies of SOTU Address

        And then there’s, “if you like you insurance you can keep your insurance – period” etc. etc.

        Yeah, a real class act. No surprise a liar like you thinks he’s great.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          Nice try chopped meat..but that link you provided is an “opinion” and biased I might add.

          Obama has not lied about anything. I know at least a dozen people who had Aetna insurance and still do…You want to make up another lie about that?

          You are not a class act. You are a low life who has an axe to grind and need mental help. Other posters see your posts and wonder what the hell planet you came from. Grow up.

          I am not going to see my premiums increase for my healthcare so you don’t have to pay for your own.

          You’ve been chewing at Obama for over 3 years now..where precisely has it gotten you? I’m guessing when, not if, Hillary wins, you’ll sharpen your gender biased tongue and haul out the “C” word and pepper any criticisms of Hillary with that too…It is long past time for men like you to stop trying to control the rest of the country. YOu failed at it it miserably.

          • Buck Ofama says:

            Ha! Ha! Ha! Try refuting the facts for once, dumdum, instead of posting personal attacks.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            I see…so Mr. Oh So Superior BS ARtist ..YOU call others names and that’s not a personal attack? Try again little man. You’re a troll with nothing better in your life than looking for someone to argue with and then hope and pray you can show how big and strong you are…must be why you ended up in prison right?

          • Buck Ofama says:

            You’re the queen of irony, that’s for sure. Have another slug of gin.

  5. Buck Ofama says:

    So the left thinks “remorse” is required to run for President? We should write that into the Constitution somewhere.

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