(CNN) - Okay, now he's getting personal.
President Obama said, "The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates into silly arguments, and big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away."
Hey! Why is he attacking pundits? Those of us who sweat under hot lights crafting cute one-liners and spewing sound bites – are we not Americans, too? What would he replace us with: people who actually know something?
(CNN) - Interesting – Obama just associated his efforts to restrain nuclear weapons with Ronald Reagan. Unexpected – but some of Reagan's policy advisers like Martin Anderson and Secretary of State George Schultz, now at the Hoover Institution, might agree. I wonder how this parallel will be greeted by the contemporary right and left.
(CNN) - The same president who yearned for less partisanship tonight also resorted to it without hesitation a few sentences later, blaming his problems on his predecessor, one long year into his own administration.
That same president who yearned to reduce deficits also called for a huge expansion of government and a bagful of expensive new Washington programs. The same president who said, "We can't wage a perpetual campaign," just brought in his campaign manager to do exactly that. And the same president, who said it was urgent to reduce the deficit, said we would start next year.
(CNN) - Wow. President Obama takes on the Supreme Court, which is seated in the front row. He dissed them for their decision on campaign finance spending.
(CNN) - Sounding like Joe Friday, President Obama said "just the facts" on the deficit.
And he laid blame for the deficit squarely where it belongs: at the feet of the Republican Congress and the Republican president who squandered the massive Clinton surpluses and created the massive Republican deficits. Thank goodness.
At the beginning of the speech he described the recession as "a storm," which I hated. But later he made it clear it was not a natural disaster, it was a man-made disaster, caused by Republican tax cuts for the rich, Republican wars with no way to pay for them, and a Republican prescription drug plan that went straight on the national credit card.
(CNN) - The president campaigned on a return to fiscal responsibility. Independents broke with him on the unprecedented spending that came out of Congress amid the financial crisis last year. The executive order to create a bipartisan deficit panel – that the Senate cynically voted down yesterday – is a step in the right direction. But there's a lot more work to do to seriously restore credibility on this front.
(CNN) - "From some on the right, I expect we'll hear a different argument – that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts for wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations and maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away. The problem is that's what we did for eight years. That's what helped lead us into this crisis. It's what helped lead to these deficits. And we cannot do it again."
(CNN) - "China's not waiting to revamp its economy," President Obama said Wednesday night. "Germany's not waiting. India's not waiting. These nations aren't standing still. They are making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs."
What was that? China's economy is growing because of its investments in "clean energy"? Really?
(CNN) - It's not going to make many headlines, but it just sounded like President Obama now backs a trade agreement with Colombia. That's a step toward the center, in my book.
(CNN) - President Obama just answered the question of whether he should have had an ambitious agenda with a rhetorical question: "How long should we wait?"
That's the same answer White House staff has always given when asked why he tried to do so much, so quickly.