Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

In his column, “Obama: No Retreat, No Surrender,” E.J. Dionne argues that President Obama’s State of the Union speech was like Ronald Reagan’s 1984 speech “turned on its head:”

This was a campaign speech, but so, too, were the State of the Union addresses of Ronald Reagan in 1984 and Bill Clinton in 1996, as former Clinton speechwriter David Kusnet pointed out. The comparisons are instructive.

Obama’s was closer to the Reagan model, in form if not content. Reagan laid out what became the major themes of his campaign, including not only the nation’s recovery from economic turmoil but also his central philosophical purpose: a continuing battle against “the tendency of government to grow.”

Obama’s speech was Reagan’s turned on its head. Like Reagan, Obama previewed his election arguments in a philosophically aggressive way. But Obama’s claim was the opposite of Reagan’s. Obama spoke of government’s essential role in ensuring shared prosperity and in creating an America “built to last” — a slogan drawn, perhaps not accidentally, from truck commercials for General Motors, the company whose rescue Obama engineered.

Obama’s speech was chock-full of government initiatives: tax benefits to promote domestic manufacturing, new job-training partnerships between community colleges and businesses, education reform, more work-study jobs, broader opportunities for mortgage refinancing, incentives to hold down college tuitions. Obama used his energy program to make his larger point explicit: “Government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.”

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

Three states that narrowly swung from Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016 seem likely to swing back in 2020. Polling currently gives a consistent and solid lead to Democrat Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Should Biden carry all three of these swing states and keep all of the states Hillary Clinton won in 2016, he will win an Electoral College majority and the presidency.

According to RealClear Politics' polling average, Biden currently enjoys a 4-point lead in Pennsylvania, a 6.4-point lead in Michigan, and a 6.7-point lead in Wisconsin.

Keep reading... Show less