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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What did I think of the State of the Union last night? Boring. Flat. Minimalistic. This was a candidate who electrified America 2 years ago. Now, he sounds like a younger Walter Mondale. Part of this is that he has the completely wrong ideology. He can name the problems we face, but his mind is totally closed off to the workable solutions. "Investment" is progressive code for spending, "Infrastructure" is code for central planning. On education, he may indeed believe enough Democratic heresy on school choice to do something positive. We'll see. The foreign policy section was his best, but it was too brief and vague with respect to Afghanistan. They are making a big mistake regarding Egypt; Mubarak is no democrat, and the US pulling the plug on the 1.3 billion annual dollars propping up that regime would be among the most heroic actions ever taken by the United States. (Revisiting our aid to Israel would be wise also.) Obama is on the wrong course, but the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll (not known as a bastion of Democratic sympathy) has his approval rating at 51%. Republicans should be very concerned. The 2-year mark finds presidents in the mid 40s, even the great Reagan. He hit that bottom, and is rising. Much can still happen, but if the economy rebounds on sheer optimism, the GOP is toast.
Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) response was excellent, and true. Debt and spending are at crisis levels. But the GOP needs to be careful. You can't beat Obama with anger. His personal favorability rating, even after the most unpopular legislation in 50 years, stands at a whopping 76%. People like him, even if they utterly hate his policies, and the Democrats. My strategy for winning against Obama: 1. Nominate Pawlenty/Jindal; 2. Tell everyone that Sarah Palin will be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (where her ardent pro-life views will have the greatest use, but the least visibility) and 3. General tone of 2012 campaign: "We thank President Obama for his hopeful leadership, his inspiring story, and his enduring example for the future. But we have the ideas to make his dreams a reality."

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