The Campaign Spot

Hey, Look, It’s Another Defining Moment in Our History. Again.

Via the Politico today, we see White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer declaring: “If the Republicans vote in lockstep to oppose limits on corporate influence in our elections, it will be a defining moment for the public.”

Really. This is going to be a defining moment?

There seem to be a lot of defining moments since Obama took office.

Obama, February 18, 2009: “Banks and lenders must be held accountable for ending the practices that got us into this crisis in the first place. Individuals must take responsibility for their own actions. And all of us must learn to live within our means again. These are the values that have defined this nation. These are values that have given substance to our faith in the American Dream. And these are the values that we must restore now at this defining moment.”

Obama, March 6, 2009: Now, there were those — there were those who argued that our recovery plan was unwise and unnecessary. They opposed the necessary notion that government has a role in ending the cycle of job loss at the heart of this recession. There are those who believe that all we can do is repeat the very same policies that led us here in the first place. But I also know that this country has never responded to a crisis by sitting on the sidelines and hoping for the best. I know that, throughout our history, we have met every great challenge with bold action and big ideas. That’s what’s fueled a shared and lasting prosperity. I know that, at this defining moment for America, we have a responsibility to ourselves and to our children to do it once again.” 

Obama, July 10, 2009: “We’ve come to L’Aquila for a very simple reason: because the challenges of our time threaten the peace and prosperity of every single nation, and no one nation can meet these challenges alone. The threat of climate change can’t be contained by borders on a map, and the theft of loose nuclear materials could lead to the extermination of any city on Earth. Reckless actions by a few have fueled a recession that spans the globe, and rising food prices means that 100 million of our fellow citizens are expected to fall into desperate poverty. So right now, at this defining moment, we face a choice. We can either shape our future or let events shape it for us.”

Obama, October 2, 2009: “It’s the essence of the Olympic spirit. That’s why we see so much of ourselves in these Games. That’s why we want them in Chicago. That’s why we want them in America. We stand at a moment in history when the fate of each nation is inextricably linked to the fate of all nations — a time of common challenges that require common effort. And I ran for President because I believed deeply that at this defining moment, the United States of America has a responsibility to help in that effort, to forge new partnerships with the nations and the peoples of the world.”

Obama, February 4, 2010: “You staked your reputation on some guy that nobody had ever heard of — couldn’t pronounce my name. Some of you got involved in a campaign for the very first time. In some cases, you just got involved for the first time in a very long time, because you believed that we were at a defining moment in our nation’s history; that your voice could make a difference. And not a single day goes by when I don’t think of the time, the energy, the money, the undying faith that you put into a campaign that wasn’t just about winning an election — it was about changing a country.”

Obama, February 18, 2010: “We just came from the Fillmore Auditorium, where we had — what did we have, a couple thousand people? Twenty-four hundred people. (Applause.) Not that he’s counting. Because they understand that at this defining moment in our history, we’ve got to have people who are willing to fight on behalf of families all across America. And they know that Michael got into this business because he believes in that fight.”

Obama, February 22, 2010: “Now, if we can come together and do all this in Washington, in state houses, and across party and ideology, we’re going to raise the quality of American education. We’ll give our students, our workers, and our businesses every chance to succeed. And we are going to secure this next century as another American century. Let me just close by saying this. We’ve been trusted with the responsibility to lead at a defining moment in our history.”

Obama, May 18, 2010: “I ran for President, Youngstown, because I believe that we’re at a defining moment in our history.”

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