Fernando Fuster-Fabra's Blog

OBAMA SPEAKS TO THE NATION | January 28, 2010

U.S. President Obama is one speaker worth listening to even it means staying up late. He has command of language and an impressive presence in public, that very image that made him popular and landed him in the White House.

Last night Barack Obama returned to his campaign speech ways and challenged Congress leaders to back up measures he proposes to create new jobs and resolve economic problems of the average American. He knew that he had the audience nationwide and that his words would sink in deep to make it clear that he means business.

However, the President avoided putting pressure on ticklish issues such as the healthcare bill and only mentioned it in the passing. Likewise, for the first time in his 12 months in office, he blamed the Bush Administration for the economic crisis and two wars inherited. A wink to the Republicans on budget and tax cuts didn’t harvest the expected applauses but Obama didn’t deter from his intention to speak more to the gallery than to the congressmen and senators in the hall.

Surely enough, public opinion surveys showed an improved image. What I wonder is how much easier will the Obama Administration have it to pass bills in the Senate. In a congressional partial election year, politicians from both parties will be cautious not to provoke voters in their constituencies. I feel that the first bill to be sacrificed will probably be the healthcare bill, at least as to the extent of coverage and planned expenditure.

No matter how well Barack Obama may speak to the nation, Washington lobbies end up having most of their ways at the end of the day. The President assures he isn’t quitting but neither are the lobbyists.

Fernando Fuster-Fabra, Madrid


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