What A Difference A Speech Makes

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Barack, Polls

Gallup had Obama’s numbers dipping below 60% on Tuesday, the first time that happened since his inauguration.

Today his approval rating is 67%. Not only that, his disapproval has dipped too.



So before the speech he was looking at a +34 approval spread. Now it’s +46.

But that’s the not the most shocking stat.

Apparently, his approval jumped by 15 points among Republicans after the speech?



I think this is a combo of a couple things.

First, Obama was able to explain the situation we’re in and the steps we need to take to get out of it better than anybody I’ve seen to date. And Americans responded to his clarity, poise and forcefulness. That was definitely a speech for the ages.

Second, Jindal’s response was flat out bankrupt. Forget the style, the ideas just rang hollow for most folks, and that apparently includes a rather significant swath of Republicans.

Put those two together and you have a perfect storm for getting Obama’s ambitious budget passed in short order.

More as it develops…


This entry was posted on Friday, February 27th, 2009 and is filed under Barack, Polls. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “What A Difference A Speech Makes”

  1. Mike Says:

    I was impressed after the speech as well, particularly by the statement that he had found 2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years. I wonder if that was part of what impressed some Republicans.

    That was until I found out that the “savings” was in fact just “deficit reduction” which relied on tax increases as well as less spending on Iraq (something that he cannot take full credit for). Now I’m less impressed. Still, I hope he stands by his word to bring us back to fiscal responsibility.

  2. Justin Gardner Says:

    2 trillion is still 2 trillion. And he can take credit for ending the war sooner rather than later, as well as cutting education programs that don’t work and letting tax cuts with an expiration date expire on time as opposed to accelerating their expiration. I’m sure there will be more cuts too, but if you’re a fan of fiscal responsibility you should like all of these cuts.

  3. Mike Says:

    I am a fan of these cuts. And I’m even in favor of the tax increases if they are used to decrease the deficit instead of fund more spending. All I’m saying is that when he said he found 2 trillion in “savings” in the budget, that sounded more impressive than it actually was when you look at how he arrived at that number. Come on, you have to admit it was disingenuous to call them “savings”. Anyone can just raise taxes and then say they found “savings” in the budget. That’s not as impressive as saying that you found the same amount of waste in the budget. I’m not arguing that raising taxes is necessarily a bad thing, just that the word he used was not appropriate and gave the impression he had found 2 trillion worth of wasteful spending.

  4. Mike Says:

    As for the Iraq war, sure he can take credit for some of that savings. But no one realistically thought that we would continue with the same level of troops indefinitely. So to compare his budget with that unrealistic scenario is also disingenuous.

    Like I said in my original post, I support his efforts to restore fiscal responsibility, and I believe he is telling the truth that it is a high priority for him. I just think he overstated his achievements in his speech.

  5. Justin Gardner Says:

    Listen, it’s fine if you want to argue the semantics, but if massive federal outlays are set to expire and the president lets them expire, he’s retaining those dollars. So I’m not sure why you consider it a disingenuous ploy when he’s using the word “savings” correctly.

    Here’s what I think happened. I think you assumed you were going to see something else in those “savings” and when you didn’t you blamed Obama for that not lining up with your definition and expectations. Well, it’s not his fault that you assumed it was something that it wasn’t.

    As far as the Iraq war goes, had McCain been elected he wouldn’t have taken the same steps and he claimed as much during the campaign. Again, this disingenuousness you’re claiming is directly contradicted by the historical record.

    And fair enough that you support his efforts, but I think you’re going to have to ask yourself, do you really support his efforts or do you just support your own customized version of fiscal responsibility?

  6. bubbaquimby Says:

    That is disingenuous to say McCain wouldn’t have taken the same steps. He always said that it would be reliant on Iraq’s viewpoint of whether they wanted us there or not and if they the commanders on the ground. Guess what that’s what happened. Iraq feels more comfortable with our troops leaving and has asked for a draw down and our commanders think the time is now to start drawing down. Also he is still keeping 50,000 troops there as “advisers” and I can easily imagine McCain doing that. What McCain might not have down is sent them to Afghanistan but I am not sure about that either. Why will have to wait and see about Pakistan.

  7. Mike Says:

    Justin, if it was just me that misunderstood, and not Obama’s wording that was faulty, then why did the Obama administration change the wording after the speech from “savings” to “deficit reduction”? Apparently even the Obama administration is not comfortable using the word “savings” anymore. And I stand by my assertion that the word “savings” implies to most people cutting items from the budget that previously had be planned. It does not imply tax increases (or even letting the previous tax cuts expire on schedule as planned), and does not imply decreases in temporary spending that had already been planned. If you disagree, that’s fine.

    As far as McCain goes, I don’t think the steps he would have taken would have been very different than Obama’s, as evidenced by the fact that McCain likes Obama’s plan. Also, the US had already made an agreement, under the Bush administration, to be out by the end of 2011. I see no reason to believe the McCain would not have honored that agreement. So, these are savings that are the result of previous efforts to get us into the situation where we can withdraw troops from Iraq. For Obama to claim them as savings that his adminitration identified when they looked at the budget line by line is misleading. Frankly I’m suprised that you can’t relate to that point of view, but if not we’ll have to agree to disagree, because I don’t know what more I can say. I guess we just heard very different things when Obama said his administration had identified 2 trillion in savings.

    I don’t know where you questioning my support for Obama comes from. I honestly hope that his efforts to stabilize the economy and reduce the deficit are successful. I did not vote for him in 2008, but I will certainly vote for him in 2012 if he is able to accomplish what he has set out to do (especially if he is up against Palin): get us out of the recession, reduce the deficit by half, and improve our healthcare system, any one of which probably can’t be done without doing the other two as well. I am not questioning his sincerity in wanting to restore fiscal responsibility (as I have heard many hard right wingers do). I just think his wording was misleading to make his efforts thus far seem more aggressive than they have been in terms of cutting spending. And, since I am not the only one that misunderstood, it’s reasonable to ask the question about whether some of the Republican bump might have been due to this. He has said, though, that the work has only just begun, so I remain open minded about what he might accomplish in bringing us back to fiscal responsibility.

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