SOTU: A Morass of Meandering Obfuscation

When a candidate for public office or incumbent politician tries to be all things to all people, it usually does not go well. Nobody is happy. No one can tell where you plan to lead. It looks to most that you are unsure of where or how you plan to lead.

As rhetoric goes, Obama’s 2012 SOTU will go down as a trip down the middle of the road that propelled Members of the Congress to the exit door. For in trying to be all things to all people, Obama did little to please anybody. Little wonder the blank stares from so many of his own party during his remarks.

Regulations? We need to reduce them, but we need more of them.

Education? We need to cut the cost, but we need to spend more.

Energy? All hail new energy discoveries in the United States, but fossil fuels are filthy and they kill kids.

The deficit? We need to cut it, but we need to borrow more.

Defense? We need to remain a military superpower. Meanwhile, I’m cutting a trillion dollars out of the defense budget.

Wall Street Bailouts? I was for them before I was against them.

China. Even though I once said I welcome China’s rise, the time has come to bash China. Watch me.

Bureaucracy? We need to consolidate it, but we need to create more government jobs.

America? We’re back, big and strong, despite the fact that only 26% think the country is headed in the right direction and 25 million go to bed every night without a job to go to in the morning.

The one predictable moment? All expected class warfare in Obama’s State of the Union and Obama did not disappoint.

“Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary…Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”

Missed by some and unstated by most is that #1. Buffett’s secretary does not pay more in taxes than her boss, (unless he is paying her a lot more than what he made in 2010, for which he cut a check to the treasury for $7 million.) and #2. The tax rate that Buffett does pay was instituted and signed by a democratic President (Clinton) and has remained in place thanks to the likes of Chuck Schumer and the Democratic Senate, in which Wall Street has invested a substantial sum during the past decade.

Absent the expected bow to class warfare, little was noted by the mainstream media. And even the mainstream quickly tired of talking about it.

News of the speech disappeared within 24 hours after the final word was uttered. Rightly so, for nothing memorable was said. It has already been largely forgotten.

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Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

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