Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Communication Problem

There are many articles circulating in newspapers, magazines and the blogosphere regarding President Obama's maiden State of the Union speech tonight.  Most are detailing what he should say to recover from his low approval ratings and gain back the independent and middle class voters that have recently repudiated the Democratic agenda by voting in two new Republican governors in Virginia and New Jersey and a Republican senator from Massachusetts.  In the wake of Scott Brown's election President Obama told George Stephanopoulis that he needs 'to speak directly to the American people', an amazing statement coming from the most communicative President in U.S. history.

But the President does have a communication problem, and it is that he is no longer believed.  Almost every campaign promise has been broken, whether it is his promise of transparency in writing laws, keeping lobbyists out of his administration, a modest healthcare proposal that would cover all children, no spending freezes, immediate removal of troops from Iraq, the end of earmarks, the posting of non emergency laws five days before they are signed and the closing of Gitmo.  These are just the ones I can come up with off the top of my head!

This is a problem, that if he wants fixed, (and all indications are that he doesn't), will take time.  Rebuilding credibility is a difficult task which takes real humility, and won't be mended by one more speech.  We live in a society built around marketing and smoke and mirrors.  Many want to be sold on something, and have been.  Right now many are suffering from buyer's remorse.

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