Obama Takes Center Stage 

Posted: 10:16 pm Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

By Jamie Dupree

The Inauguration reminded everyone that times have changed and last night, President Barack Obama urged Americans to join together to deal with tough economic times.

I haven’t seen any polls, but I confidently will say right now that I bet his speech gets big viewership in terms of ratings and does well in the polls, too.

Democrats and Independents will like it, while Republicans will not.  That’s where we are right now in the political debate in this country.

What I found most interesting was listening to Obama The President and thinking back on how it compared to Obama the Candidate, or even Obama at the Inaugural.

He is a gifted speaker and was more than up to the task of delivering his message in a House chamber that had many smiling Democrats and Republicans.

Mr. Obama defended the controversial (and expensive) work that lays ahead on aid for struggling banks and for struggling homeowners, both of which could rise up to bite the new President along the way if he’s not careful.

As for the legislative agenda apart from the economy, the President focused on three areas – energy, health care and education.

There were very few details offered, as the White House had indicated, meaning that the meat of these fights is down the road a bit. 

Rest assured, there is a lot the two sides do not agree on.

For now though, the Obama Administration reclaims a bit of momentum that they might have lost in the messy battle over the economic stimulus bill.

I’m reminded of Bill Clinton’s never ending speeches that were panned by the news media.  Then we would look at the polls the next day, and he was more popular than ever.

Obama will get basically good marks for his presentation, and I’m sure another bump in the approval tank.

He will need that good will, because a lot of it is going to get used up on the road ahead.