Obama comes out swinging
The president went on the offensive Wednesday, and for once the market liked what he had to say.
The market liked President Barack Obama's speech. Rather odd when you consider that, to me, the speech may have been a very powerful blow against the Republicans in November. In my opinion, Obama very effectively painted a picture of the Republicans being in the pocket of the rich.
As the speech was going on, it struck me that if the Republicans don't give in on some sort of middle ground on the expiration of the Bush tax breaks, they are not going to take back the Senate and the House.
It's been a long time since I've heard the president be this masterful. By linking himself with Bill Clinton -- a man I think a lot of us in the market yearn for -- he gave us some confidence that the moderate Obama could be lurking. The mention of Reagan made me feel that way, too.
Don't get me wrong. I think it is a mistake to raise taxes in this kind of environment. But, again, Obama struck pay dirt by making it clear that the tax breaks didn't do anything for anyone but the rich and the economy fared better in the 1990s when it wasn't on steroids.
I have to admit I was kind of blown away by how forceful Obama was. Given the horrid job creation -- I can show you chapter and verse on how this is the weakest post-recovery environment since World War II -- I figured that there would be some defensive nature to what he had to say. None.
Yet there were enough pro-business sentiments, enough "You give, you’ll get" points to the private sector, that the speech didn't seem like business was being bashed at all. The only targets were greedy people and Republicans.
The speech worked.
People who have counted the Democrats and Obama out in November will not be thinking that way a few weeks from now if this Obama keeps coming out swinging.
The tone-deaf Republicans have woken the sleeping orator, and for the first time in a long time, it wasn't bad for the stock market.
Eye-opening. Powerful. And not anti-business. The market says, "We can live with it." Big change, worth noting for certain.
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