Obama's Plan 'Bolder, Better Than Expected'
Pundits from left and right generally praise address
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2011 3:21 AM CDT
Updated Sep 9, 2011 7:48 AM CDT
President Barack Obama arrives to address a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington last night.   (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, POOL)

(Newser) – Pundits handed out good grades aplenty for President Obama's new jobs proposal last night, with generally positive feedback from liberals like Paul Krugman—but also from conservatives like David Frum and Andrew Sullivan.

  • Krugman writes in the New York Times that he was "favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected." Still, "it's not nearly as bold as the plan I’d want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment." Of course, Krugman holds out little hope that the GOP will let it pass.

  • It was a "cunning speech," muses David Frum on FrumForum. Economically, it's better than the 2009 stimulus, and, politically, it helps Obama's re-election chances, he adds. But the strongest aspect was using proposals Republicans had previously advocated, which "ingeniously put Republicans into an awkward spot," Frum writes.
  • "This was a blunt, potent, confident attempt to win back the hearts of a disillusioned base, while appealing to the center in ways Republicans may feel a little leery of rejecting," writes Andrew Sullivan. "Game on, in other words."
  • No love, though, from the Wall Street Journal. "Had Mr. Obama proposed a permanent cut in tax rates, or a major tax reform, or a moratorium on all new regulations for three years, he'd have our support," the paper notes. "But you have to really, really believe in hope and change to think that another $300 to $400 billion in new deficit spending and temporary tax cuts will do any better than the $4 trillion in debt that the Obama years have already piled up."
Click for reactions to the speech from the 2012 GOP candidate crew and more. (Herman Cain: "We waited 30 months for this?")