As is the case when speeches in America are delivered at night and we are hours ahead of them, I missed Obama’s speech to Congress on his healthcare reform plans. What a cracker it was!
The highlight – never mind the content of the speech – was when Republican congressman from South Carolina, Joe Wilson shouted “You lie” while Obama was delivering his carefully scripted speech. Hardly reacting, Obama looked in the direction of the shout, said “It’s not true” and then went on with his speech. Obama had just tried to dispel the myth that the new plan would cover illegal immigrants.
Both Democrats and Republicans condemned the outburst. Gail Collins in her column today goes out “on a limb (to) say that it is not a good plan to heckle the president of the United States when he’s making a speech about replacing acrimony with civility”
The New York Times reports that Rahm Emanuel “immediately approached senior Republican lawmakers to encourage them to identify the heckler and urge him to issue an apology quickly. “No president has ever been treated like that. Ever,” Emanuel is quoted saying in the New York Times. Wilson apparently left the chamber in a hurry, and later last night, issued an apology, which Emanuel accepted. Unfortunately no fisty cuffs to report.
And more generally, most commentators say that his speech came months late. It should have been delivered in June. He has been too passive they say. By leaving the debate alone he has allowed the debate to get really ugly, and says Maureen Dowd when the other side is fighting dirty, you should get angry: ” Don’t let the bully kick sand in your face. The White House should have impaled death panel malarkey as soon as it came up.”
To read the transcript of Obama’s speech: Read More…
(AP picture President Barack Obama walks down the Cross Hall to hold his first news conference, Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.)
Good evening. Before I take your questions tonight, I’d like to speak briefly about the state of our economy and why I believe we need to put this recovery plan in motion as soon as possible.
I took a trip to Elkhart, Indiana today. Elkhart is a place that has lost jobs faster than anywhere else in America. In one year, the unemployment rate went from 4.7% to 15.3%. Companies that have sustained this community for years are shedding jobs at an alarming speed, and the people who’ve lost them have no idea what to do or who to turn to. They can’t pay their bills and they’ve stopped spending money. And because they’ve stopped spending money, more businesses have been forced to lay off more workers. Local TV stations have started running public service announcements that tell people where to find food banks, even as the food banks don’t have enough to meet the demand. Read More…
This was a speech for a great nation. Obama said many things that we’ve heard already – much of it preparing Americans for the hard work that lay ahead.
Initially he didn’t create much excitement. The woman next to me whispered ‘This isn’t very good’.
But a few seconds later the crowds roared when he said: “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you. ”
It is a country at war.
Here is the speech in full. Read More…
Today is Martin Luther King Day in America. The day before we are due to hear one of the most anticipated inaugural speeches ever given is a good day to remember one of the other greatest speeches in American history. The full transcript is below the video.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Read More…
I want to thank all the speakers and performers for reminding us, through song and through words, just what it is that we love about America. And I want to thank all of you for braving the cold and the crowds and traveling in some cases thousands of miles to join us here today. Welcome to Washington, and welcome to this celebration of American renewal.
The speech I missed:
January 17, 2009
We began this train trip in Philadelphia earlier today. It is fitting that we did so – because it was there that our American journey began. It was there that a group of farmers and lawyers, merchants and soldiers, gathered to declare their independence and lay claim to a destiny that they were being denied.
It was a risky thing, meeting as they did in that summer of 1776. There was no guarantee that their fragile experiment would find success. More than once in those early years did the odds seem insurmountable. More than once did the fishermen, laborers, and craftsmen who called themselves an army face the prospect of defeat.
And yet, they were willing to put all they were and all they had on the line – their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor – for a set of ideals that continue to light the world. That we are equal. That our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness come not from our laws, but from our maker. And that a government of, by, and for the people can endure. It was these ideals that led us to declare independence, and craft our constitution, producing documents that were imperfect but had within them, like our nation itself, the capacity to be made more perfect. Read More…
Yesterday on Larry King Live, Sarah Palin said about the Katie Couric interviews that “Some of those questions, you know, regarding what do I read up in Alaska, were, to me, a bit irrelevant”.
(BTW Couric this week offered Palin some advice saying Palin should keep her head down, work really hard and learn about governing before contemplating a presidential run. )
ON the show, Palin also spoke about the historic campaign, how she thinks she affected the Republican ticket, the concession speech she never got to make, her family’s coverage in the media and her plans now that the election is over.
Here’s an edited transcript of the show (thanks to CNN): Read More…
John McCain appeared on The Tonight Show last night, one week after he lost the presidential election, on Veteran’s Day. This is his first interview since he lost to Obama.
HEre’s the full transcript:
Jay Leno: As I said, today is Veterans Day. I cannot think of a better person to have as my first guest. Vietnam veteran, real American war hero, also just ran a hard-fought campaign against Barack Obama, now our President elect. Please welcome, in his first television interview:
Senator John McCain. (Applause.) Welcome back, sir.
Senator John McCain: Thank you, my friend. And thank you for having all these brave servicemen and women here. I’m honored to be with you. Thanks.
Jay Leno: It’s been a week since the election. How are you doing?
Senator John McCain: Well, I’ve been sleeping like a baby. (Laughter.) Sleep two hours, wake up and cry. Sleep two hours, wake up and cry. (Laughter.) Read More…
A very confident, presidential address to the large, emotional crowd at Grant Park in Chicago. Here’s the transcript for you to read again, again, and again. Good Night. I need some sleep.
IF there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America. Read More…
CNN gives 333 electoral votes to Obama. 155 to McCain.
John McCain, with Cindy, addressed a crowd in Arizona. In his concession statement, he told the crowd that he had called Barack Obama to congratulate him on becoming the next President of a country they both love.
McCain commended Obama. He recognised this historical night. He recognised how far America had come to elect an African American as the President of the greatest nation on earth. Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and this country, he said.
He offered his sincerest sympathies that Obama’s grandmother hadn’t lived to see her grandson become the President.
He thanked Sarah Palin for her campaigning, for setting the stage for 2012.
He also thanked Republicans for their support. Very gracious. Very generous.
PS: The lovely Joe Biden will be the Vice President!
Transcript: McCain’s concession speech:
Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.
My friends, we have – we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. Quantcast
A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him. Read More…