(Jan. 27) — Obama administration, take two.
President Barack Obama used his first State of the Union address to confront Americans’ widely felt economic uncertainty, but also the increasingly pervasive doubts among voters about his ability to enact the changes he promised as a candidate and newly elected leader.
And to regain momentum, Obama sought to harness a widespread apprehension he blamed on both economic infirmity and a recalcitrant political culture.
“I know the anxieties that are out there right now. They’re not new,” he said, citing the troubles of people without jobs and those forced to move from their homes. “For these Americans and so many others, change has not come fast enough.”
Obama acknowledged his own administration’s “political setbacks.”
“Right now, I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe we can change — or at least, that I can deliver it,” he said.
“But remember this — I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I could do it alone.”
From the persistently high unemployment rate to stalled health care reform to the staggering budget deficits he described as one of the biggest threats to the economy, the president assigned guilt to politicians’ “partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness” that have alienated Americans.
“We have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now,” Obama said, hitting a theme he plied so often while running for office in 2008. “We face a deficit of trust — deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years.”