Desperation call: Bloomberg
If Republicans want a really wealthy guy for President who is inclined to be good for business, they should have asked Mayor Bloomberg of NYC to come aboard early on. They didn’t do that, of course.
So, perhaps a smart thing for President Obama to do is to ask Bloomberg to work with him to form a collation to renew the American economy. He should assemble some smart and accomplished individuals, including Alan Mulally at Ford to join him.
State of the Union, blah, blah, blah
“Tonight, President Obama will answer the question that all of America is obsessed with: Is the state of our union strong? Weak? Confused? Lovelorn? Obsessed with vampire novels? All of the above?
Here's my guess: The state of our union is unlikely to be substantially affected by a speech. That's what history tells us, anyway. In 2010, Gallup went back and looked at post-SOTU polling for the last five presidents. Jimmy Carter's average bump was...negative one percent. Perhaps surprisingly, Ronald Reagan did no better. Nor did George W. Bush. George H.W. Bush, however, did worse -- he tended to lose four points in the polls when he delivered a State of the Union address. The only recent president who consistently benefited from the speech was Bill Clinton, who gained, on average, three points. "These speeches rarely affect a president's public standing in a meaningful way, despite the amount of attention they receive," concluded Gallup.
The real importance of the State of the Union is that it lays out the White House's agenda for the next year. But that matters more in years when the White House has some chance of passing its agenda through Congress than in years when it doesn't. Last year, for instance, Obama exhorted Americans to win the future by investing in scientific research, clean energy and infrastructure. But as Glenn Kessler details, Obama's proposals languished in the divided Congress. Instead, Congress spent much of its time almost letting the government shut down, almost defaulting on the national debt, and almost letting the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance expire. Forget winning the future. In 2011, we almost lost the present.
Which isn't to say you can safely ignore tonight's speech. First, the Obama administration, mindful of the mess that Congress made in 2011, has been looking for areas in which they can maximize their executive authority. The recent recess appointments and government reorganization proposals are two examples of that campaign. More are likely to be unveiled in tonight's speech. Second, Obama is up for reelection this year -- perhaps you've heard? -- and tonight's speech is likely to offer the first widely watched instance of the president setting up the contrast between him and his opponents. Expect that part of the speech to borrow heavily from his address in Osawatomie, Kansas.”
Via Ezra Klein, Washington Post