President Obama, the American Jobs Act, and the media: Who was listening? Who was buying it?

President Obama preempted … Jeopardy!? Seinfeld syndicated reruns? … to deliver his “American Jobs Act” speech, careful to avoid both Big Brother and the Packers-versus-Saints game. The president offered a combination of oratory and policy proposals that were driven home by one oft-repeated phrase: “You should pass this jobs plan right away.”

Obama tried to align himself with public sentiment: “The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy.”

He insisted this was “not class warfare,” while saying that “we need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake” and “everyone pays their fair share” — code for Of course I mean the upper class needs to pay more. (By the way, at the exact moment the president was uttering those last two phrases, my ABC affiliate went to a commercial — did yours? Was this some playful Eric Cantor prank?)

By the end, Obama’s promises were turning the corner toward threat: “I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.” Threat, that is, to his Republican opponents, particularly the group of people who debated one another the night before on MSNBC. Because this speech sounded as much like a campaign stump rouser as it did a plan for the immediate economic future.

The immediate reaction to the president’s speech was muted by two other breaking-news stories: the report of a “credible threat” of possible car bombings being planned for New York City and/or Washington, D.C., and the news of massive power outages on the West Coast.

Which may be just as well for the president, since both sides of the cable spectrum seemed dubious about his content. On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly called the speech “pretty much a charade” and said, “Republicans are never gonna vote to increase taxes on the affluent.” O’Reilly chided the president: “He says pass it now, pass it now, and I’ll tell you in two weeks how I’m gonna pay for it. What?” On Current TV, Keith Olbermann’s guest, economist Jeff Madrick, pretty much agreed with O’Reilly, saying that Obama “didn’t explain how” he was going to accomplish his goals: “He hasn’t given us any details.”

And on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart acknowledged up front that the speech was being made after he taped his show, and since he doesn’t air a new edition on Fridays, he’d deal with the Obama plan “on Monday, when you don’t give a s— anymore.”

It’s a tough media world out there; the president just lives in it.

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (130 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3
  • deedeedragons

    Damn! I’m too early for the lunacy that usually insures here on EW when there is a political story. I enjoy reading the nut jobs on both sides battle it out.

    • Jay X


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      • anonymous

        How about if I’m poor and unemployed? Can I borrow some money from you that you’ve earned from spamming this site?

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        I want to see the single doctors birth certificate! I don’t like it!

      • JEP

        @jully2, The gorgeous doctor must not be so gorgeous after all if shes on every blog looking for a man! Just saying…

    • LOL

      FOX: Full Of Xenophobia

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        Xeno what? Can you tell me what this has to do with aliens?

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        P.S. I don’t like it!

    • KM


      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        That’s fancy talk! I don’t like it!

    • Mr. Effing Tea Party

      Aren’t dragons from England? I don’t like it!

  • District 12

    same here Deedee, I’ll just have to come back in a few hours lol

    • johnc

      I am glad I did not waste my 45 minutes listen to an imbecile’s rant and whine.

      We should just clean both the Congress and the White House and get some new blood in whether they are Democrats, Republicans, or Liberatarians.

      • Krissy

        No matter who is in Congress or the White House they are going to have the same options available to them. The only thing the GOP has to offer is tax cuts. That alone will not solve the debt problem (tax cuts don’t pay for 10 years of war).

    • Mr. Effing Tea Party

      Are you an illegal like those aliens from District 9? I don’t like it!

  • Zadoc Paet

    I think $450bn is a small price to pay for lower taxes and more jobs, plus over a trillion in debt reduction.

    POLL: Was President Obama’s jobs speech the right blue print for creating jobs?

  • Aaron

    Time for someone else to try and fix this mess. Even if Obama didn’t cause it, he sure as hell isn’t fixing it. Bring in Huntsman!!! He’s the only politician that doesn’t act like a politician.

    • texkit1

      Huntsman has no chance of winning the Republican nomination for President. He is not a wacky enough conservative for the tea party people to vote for him. GOP will end up nominating Rick Perry. He can’t win a general election.

      • Jimeny Lummox

        Yep, I’m sure you’re right. Someone that sat in the pews of Rev. Jeremiah Wrights church and listened to him spew hatred for 20 years isn’t wacky at all.

      • chillydogs

        Everyone (except you) pretty much understood that he was in that pew about as often as McCain was.

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        Huntsman thinks my pappy’s pappy’s pappy was an ape! I don’t like it!

    • Ruby

      This. I support Huntsman, but sadly can acknowledge he won’t get the nomination :/

    • pastafarian

      Of all the R’s, I kinda like Huntsman as the best of a crazy situation. But my left-leaning endorsement isn’t really the kind of vote he needs or is looking for. I think he is trying to appeal to independents who voted for Obama, but want a more conservative slant. Unfortunately, being the Conservative Obama isn’t much different than Classic Obama, so the Right will never go for him, and the Left will stick with The Man We Got Already.

    • Melissa

      I love Huntsman too! We are in need of someone moderate. I am in the middle with most of my political views and hate the extreme crazies on both sides.

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        If you in the middle then you ain’t tryin’ hard enough! I don’t like it!


        Who is more moderate than Obama? In fact the reason Obama is in such a pickle with the DEMS is because he was too easy on the Republicans and gave in too much to their demands.
        Unlike Obama, John Huntsman would never be able to not give in to the demands of the wacky fringe of the Republican party.

        I have all the faith in Pres. Obama. He tried to work with everyone, but since 2000 the Republicans have become more and more extreme. I thing Regan would look like a Democrat if he were amongst them.. Sad!!

  • Barack Palin

    Let’s hope that B. Hyssein Obama will jooin the ranks of the unemployed in January 2013.

    • Jake

      Let’s hope you learn proper grammar by January 2013. Doubtful…

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        Grammar sounds like a foreign word. I don’t like it!

      • uh

        Jake, I think you meant spelling rather than grammar.

      • Another Tom

        Mr. ETP, you also remind me of Bryan Fellow. You know…the enthusiastic young man with a sixth grade education and an abiding love for all of God’s creatures.

      • Another Tom

        “The rain forest? That sounds wet!”

        “Rabbits can’t cut their own hair….THAT’S CRAZY!!!”

    • thetwilightsown

      Let’s hope that all the people who treat names like “Hussein” like “Beetlejuice” are soon given the opportunity to defend their latest Great White Dope on a daily basis, answering why he wasn’t able to fix America in half the time it took to screw it up. Careful what you wish for, Tea Baggers – this one’s coming back twice as hard. Unless you guys acknowledge that Ron Paul makes the most sense – which you won’t because you barely acknowledge his existence – you’re about to jump in some ugly waters.

      • Asha

        Yep, Ron Paul is the only Republican who could actually help this country and he’s gettting the shaft because he doesn’t shove some religious doctrine down everyone’s throat. It’s too bad. RON PAUL! RON PAUL!

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        I don’t like that Ron Paul has two first names! Is he hiding something about his last name? I don’t like it!

    • Mr. Effing Tea Party

      Barack Palin…your name is giving me a confused feeling inside. Like seeing my pappy dressed up like my mommy. Also this is not one of those cases when the “sometimes Y rule” applies! I don’t like it!

  • lady cawcaw

    Lets admit it guys. The only reason ppl voted for him cause he is black….

    • Wes

      LOL @deedeedragons

    • texkit1

      Lets admit it guys. The only reason ppl voted for McCain/Palin cause they are stupid.

    • Nicotine

      I’ll admit that I voted for Obama because he’s black once the Tea Party admits they don’t like him because he’s black.

      • LOL

        This ^^^^^^^

      • thetwilightsown


      • Tom

        The Tea Party doesn’t like Biden, either. So unless the VP is a light-skinned black, your theory is incorrect.

      • Mom in the Suburbs

        Very astute comment!

      • DTR

        Those darn Tea Party racists, who are supporting Herman Cain, that blond-haired white guy.

    • Peg Bundy

      I guess the facts that he’s intelligent and supports the middle class had nothing to do with it?

    • Mr. Effing Tea Party

      And he’s muslin!

      • you again

        Mr. Effing Tea Party, I kind of effing love you for your comments.

  • Mike

    As I watched him walk in to the hall – all I could think of was the line in that movie – “Dead man walking”

    obama is clueless about the economy, politics, even America and its citizens.

    • JAC35

      yeah well you know what I thought? “There goes the village idiot!” And then my second thought was “we are so screwed”

      And you’re right he knows absolutely nothing about the economy, politics or America and/or those who live in it.

      He needs to stop making demands and actually start coming up with solutions. People can demand things all they want but until they actually start coming up w/ actual ideas on what to do, nothing (as usual) will happen and nothing will get done.

      And I agree, people only voted for him was b/c he was black. So many people had no idea when interviewed “why” they were voting for him; only that they were going to vote for him. That’s real nice. That’s really how you want to elect the leader of our country? The man who will make important decisions about yours and your children’s future? Hell, why didn’t you just close your eyes in the voting booth and do eenie, meeney, miney, mo? B/c it’s those very same people who voted for him simply for the sake of voting for who are the biggest complainers about what he is and isn’t doing as president….should’ve thought of that then before you jumped on his bandwagon!!

      • get a clue

        He came up with plenty of solutions. Tax cuts, tax credits, jobs for teachers, police, firefighters, construction workers. Everything in your post is a lie.

      • LOL

        Get a clue is right on. Jac35 sounds crazy.

      • KAnderson

        Hey jac, I didn’t vote for him b/c he’s black, I voted for him b/c he can spin lies in circles around your logic. He’s a good talker. Unfortunately, that’s gotten us nowhere in the short term and I’m too leary to throw my vote there again.

      • Samuel

        Hey @get a clue, I really could care less if he comes up with “solutions” for all of those problems, has he actually fixed any of them yet?

      • Tom

        Hey, KAnderson. You’re right – he is a good talker (as long as the teleprompter is running!)

      • KM

        What most people forget is that it is Congress that makes the law. The president isn’t a king or a dictator or superman. If the houses of congress can’t come together to help the country, nothing will be accomplished.

      • snarky for snark’s sake

        Hey @Samuel, why say that you *could* care less if you’re clearly not going to? ;)

    • Mr. Effing Tea Party

      When I watched him speak all I thought was, “I want to see that podiums birth certificate! I don’t like it!”

      • JEP

        So do any of you people think that Bush was better? Two wars later and countless jobs lost, yet you gave him eight years. It took the Republicans eight years to totally screw up this economy, give Obama right years to fix it. I voted for him not because he’s black but because he is a Democrat. I agree that he hasn’t fixed the economic calamity that we are in but neither did he create it. He needs the Republicans to work with him not against him.

  • John

    I live in NE PA and missed all the shows due to constant news on the floods. Quite annoying… Simple interuptions would have worked just fine imho. Anyway… it doesn’t take an economist to know congress NEEDS to do something. The health and world ranking of our country is important for all of us.

  • JC

    After a while this same old rederick from our president just gets old. How long has he been in office? when will he learn that threatening and demanding both parties pass something will get him nowhere? People may not have liked him but Bill Clinton got stuff passed why? Because he catered to both sides and offered things that would make both sides happy…that’s how you get things done in Washington; you work both sides of the aisle and try your best to make everyone happy….pissing everyone off, including the american public will get you no where; except maybe the unemployment line.

    And believe me, if Obama gets the nomination again I highly doubt I will vote for him. He was too green when he got elected and he is still too green. Sure he is doing the best he can with an impossible situation but he doesn’t help himself at all. Stop “telling” everyone in washington that they “must” and “need” to pass a bill and start explaining exactly WHY they “should” pass the bill. Like how about how he intends to create jobs and what kind of “fair shake” he intends to give everyone with the taxes. People aren’t stupid and they sure as hell won’t go for someone telling them they have to do something simply b/c of the title he holds.

    However, all that being said, Washington doesn’t needs more politicians at this point. What Washington and this country need are legislators. Legislators actually care about the American people whereas politicians only care about themselves and the big businesses who 1) give them money and 2) actually run this country.

    It is high time that the more affluent people of this country pay higher taxes and its time for loophole subsidies for companies like Exxon Mobile to stop. When you make 12 Billion dollars in one quarter you shouldn’t get help from the government….you should be, imo paying more TO the government. I’m tired of the old formula where the rich get richer, the middle class pays all the taxes and the poor become extinct. This country, for its politics has turned into a joke and its embarassing to be honest.

    We need to stop electing people who we simply “like” and start electing people who are actually going to do things for the american people not themselves and certainly not for big businesses. Big businesses don’t care about the working stiff…they, like most politicians only care about themselves and only care about making $$.

    Again, you may not have liked him but at least Bill Clinton balanced the budget and got sh*t done! If he were to run again he would for sure have my vote!

    • get a clue

      Ha ha ha ha! What is rederick?? So is it just stupid people that are racist, or just racist people that are stupid? I think you’ve got both covered!

      • Tom

        Racict Racist Racist. You dont agree with me about anything at all I have no logical answer so you are a Racist. If you do not like Rick Perry and you are not white You are a Racist

      • JEP

        I’ve been saying all alone that big business runs this country, that why all the presidents advisors are always CEOs of large corporations. They could care less about the middle class and no if they have their way will they every pay higher taxes. They need a different private jet and homes for every day of the week!! Forget the rhetoric, we need results and the only way it’s going to happen is if they bring the jobs back from the third world countries and put Americans back to work. We need jobs and I don’t mean minimum wage jobs. We need jobs that will allow people to buy cars, houses and raise their families. We need the middle class to thrive since we are the only ones that actually pay taxes!!!

    • KAnderson

      Dude. It’s rhetoric. & now I won’t even bother to read past that mistake. It’s true what they say.

    • Kristi

      Do you mean rhetoric? I would imagine most people stopped reading after rederick because if you don’t even know basic words, your thoughts probably aren’t worth reading, either. It’s too bad you spent so much of your time writing something no one will read. I’m sure it took a lot more time to write your speech than it would have taken to look it up. I would have thought the RED LINE under your word might have been a good clue, but I guess not in your case.

      • Nicci

        Even an “(sp)” would have been better than nothing.

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        @Nicci, (sp?) Is that short for Spanish? I don’t like it!

  • max t

    what does it say as to the state of people’s mind sets today when they complain enough to actually have the preisdent of the united states move his speech up so he doesn’t interrupt football?

    To me it says; people don’t care what the f*ck the man has to say, because what he has to say is meaningless. That, and they’d rather just watch football! lol

    • Peg Bundy

      It shows that this country has been overtaken by rednecks and hillbillies who are more concerned with Big Brother and football than the country’s economy.

      • Tom

        …writes the person philosophizing on (of all places) the comments page. Gotta love it!

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        Well Football doesn’t have a funny sounding name! I don’t like it! (Funny sounding names that is).

    • Channing

      President Reagan rescheduled a speech so it wouldn’t conflict with the premiere of ‘Dynasty II: The Colbys.’ Of course, that starred his good friend Charlton Heston.

      • JEP

        Reagan was an even bigger idiot than Bush. Reagans top was Donald Regan who was the CEO of the largest bank in the country and was caught by a national reporter telling the President of the USA to Speed It Up as the President was holding a news conference, now who tells the President that??

      • JEP

        Reagans top advisor was Donald Regan!

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    • Mr. Effing Tea Party


  • Nicotine

    It was really disheartening to hear the audience applaud for the killing of 234 inmates. Remember, this is the same party that fights tooth and nail against abortion because it’s murder. But somehow, capital punishment isn’t murder, war isn’t murder, and murder itself isn’t murder. Yes, this is the party that has such extremists that they will kill abortion doctors if they don’t get their way. Not to mention the guns they love for ‘protection’.

    • LOL

      GOP: Greed Over Patriotism

    • KAnderson

      Off on a tangent.

    • Aurora

      @Nicotine – I didn’t hear Obama mention killing 234 inmates!. Oh, wait, that was the night before…

    • Mr. Effing Tea Party

      Are you trying to say we should send unborn babies to war? I don’t like it!

  • KAnderson

    My husband is still mad @ me for voting for Obama. I say he talks the talk but has wasted too much of this country’s time so for all the rhetoric I’ll still take my vote elsewhere. I fell for it once.

    • Bob

      So your going to vote for someone else because you don’t like the current guy? Not even going to wait and see who the GOP throws up against him? You’d vote for Bachmann simply because she’s not Obama? Lord, help us all.

      • johnc


        This is the same retoric in 2008 when people hated Bush and just voted for any Democratic nominee they could get. Where do this get us now?

      • uh

        Hopefully even the tea party isn’t crazy enough to nominate Bachmann. That woman is scary. She makes Palin seem almost normal.

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        Why you all talking about the Walkman? That went out in the 80’s! Now we’ve got mp3’s and I don’t like it!

    • Queequeg

      Your husband holds a grudge for three years? He thinks he has a say in your vote? I hope you’re free to have your own mind without haranguing you. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but I hope there are not more serious issues at play.

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        I forgot to return The Grudge to Blockbuster for three years. Now I have to pay a HUGE overdue fee. I don’t like it!

  • Tess

    When will people see what they voted into the White House!?! He’s a Manchurian Candidate!!! We’re the idiots who keep falling for their political lies, on BOTH sides. Wake up people. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

  • Tom

    Racist Racist Racist you are all racist if you do not agree with everything I say dang it. I do not have a logical well informed answer or I know you are right so I am just going to claim racisim every time you paint me in a corner with the facts.

    • Devin “Badass Digest” Faraci

      What facts? That the earth is 6000 years old? HAHAHAHAHA!

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        Don’t make fun of the Earth. I don’t like it!

    • Merry Bear

      Okay Tom, I see you don’t get the criticism here. The thing is, many of us were raised in homes where racism is alive and well, and know plenty of people who have a major problem with having a black president. While that may not be you, the fact is, the race of our president is a MAJOR factor in why a lot of folks deeply hate and distrust him. Many people can’t get past his color, and it’s a sad fact, but a fact nevertheless.

      • Another Tom

        I’ll grant you that racism still exists, but I disagree that it is a MAJOR factor. It’s due to his policies and lack of leadership. I like Obama as a person, but I don’t him as President.

      • I

        One of the biggest criticisms of the President made by the Republicans was his birth certificate. Maybe you disagree, but your politicians made a big stink of it. And it sure smelled like racism.

      • Another Tom

        I suggest you rephrase your statement to say “some Republicans”. The majority discounted this issue. BTW: There were a number of Democrats who made a stink about McCain not being born in the US, either. He was actually born on in the Canal Zone in Panama.

      • Mr. Effing Tea Party

        Well I wouldn’t vote for Green Lantern because he’s green. I don’t like it!

      • mostboringseasonever

        I like Obama as a person, too. I also voted for him. I don’t like him as a President, though. And, that’s not being a racist. It’s being a realist.

      • JEP

        There is no way that they are going to allow Obama to succeed! No, not a black President, they will never allow that and yes there are a lot of racist Republicans, believe it or not!! Why do people act like racism doesn’t exist in this country, be real people.

      • Vic Eldred

        Your wrong he would not have made it without the White vote

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