As a matter of rhetoric, the President’s big job speech exceeded expectations, a solid A. He used simple language and repetition — the cornerstones of effective public speaking — to promote his “American Jobs Act.” He repeated some variation of the phrase “Pass this bill” 17times (see transcript here).
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who, like many of us, has been highly critical of just how mealymouthed Obama has become, said it was “probably his most rousing political performance in a long while.” HuffPost’s Howard Fineman writes, “Obama Puts Passion Into Speech Rarely Seen In His Presidency.” If only Obama had been speaking this way for the past couple of years….
On substance, it was a solid B. The biggest disappointment was that he never mentioned clean energy by name as a focus area. No, I’m not going to keep giving him a failing grade for not talking about climate change in a jobs speech focused on the near term — although this speech shows precisely what he could have done 2 years ago to get the climate and clean energy jobs bill passed.
The most Obama said on clean energy was to continue his theme that clean energy is a core job-creating industry of the near future:
If we provide the right incentives and support – and if we make sure our trading partners play by the rules – we can be the ones to build everything from fuel-efficient cars to advanced biofuels to semiconductors that are sold all over the world. That’s how America can be number one again.
And I have the Fact Sheet for the AJA, which points out the $25 billion school modernization effort can be used for “greening and energy efficiency upgrades.” This is similar to the “Fix America’s Schools Today” initiative you can read about here.
The President also offered a strong defense for maintaining rules and regulations even during this tough times: