He can’t possibly top Bill Clinton’s speech, but here’s what I hope President Obama does tonight.
First, I hope he stays entirely on policy points, although I wouldn’t mind a little uplifting rhetoric. I certainly don’t need to be told again about Bain.
Second, while Clinton did a superb job explaining what’s wrong with the Republican argument, there’s still work to do. So, I hope tonight President Obama reminds us of all that he has done, for his achievements are epic. But I hope he does so in a way that neatly folds and stacks each item on that laundry list.
For example, he might remind us of how bad the circumstances were, and then show us the method by which he addressed those problems. First, you stimulate the economy: what was the money spent on, and what were the results. Second, you take care of the most vulnerable: here’s what we did, and here are the results. Third, you make investments for the future: here’s what we invested in and here’s why it matters. Fourth, you do this while you also deal with the developments and opportunities the world presents: here’s what happened, and here’s how we responded. Fifth, from Ledbetter to ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, you try to make life more fair for all our citizens.
That’s my idea for conveying the methodological competency with which the Administration has dealt with the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. But, I’m looking forward to hearing the speech tonight and thinking, “Man, that’s waaay better!”