My first take on the State of the Union, in the New York Post. An excerpt:
Washington graybeards and pundits have been insisting that Obama needs to “start over,” “reboot” and “tack to the middle” after Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts. But Obama’s response last night was to recommit himself to the agenda that has gotten him in so much trouble.
In fairness, the president took a French-bath of Clintonism before he took to his beloved TelePrompTer. He doused himself with the scent of the deficit-fighter and trade-promoter. He unveiled a slew of small, easy, applause-gathering proposals and populist appeals that he knows will go nowhere.
He also indulged in a lot of feel-your-pain pathos, trying to connect with the real Americans suffering from the recession and the misdeeds of a “Washington” that Obama seems to think is run by someone other than him.
But the eau-de-Clinton couldn’t mask the stench — and Obama, in his supreme arrogance, didn’t really seem to care.
There was no “pivot to the center,” no serious accounting for the Massachusetts miracle or his misfortunes. Instead, there was an innumerate, inaccurate and distinctly unpresidential whine — blaming George W. Bush for nearly all of his problems (leaving out, among other things, that the Democrats have been controlling Congress and crafting budgets since 2006).
The White House insists that the new wave of populism created by Democratic governance is, in fact, the same populist wave that carried Obama to victory in 2008. In other words, Obama was elected president by the backlash against his own presidency.