Obama, Please Don't Dumb It Down
He needs another speech on par with the one about Rev. Wright
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2010 1:34 PM CST
President Obama waves as he walks toward the Oval Office Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – If President Obama hopes to pull off a winning speech tonight, he might look back to candidate Obama for guidance, writes Johnathan Cohn. Remember the Jeremiah Wright controversy, when Obama faced the first "speech of his life"? Most candidates would have taken the politically easy route of disavowing Wright for his charged racial comments. Instead, Obama gave a nuanced speech on race relations and won the day.

"My gut tells me that this State of the Union cries for the same approach—that people will respect and embrace Obama if, rather than backing down, he reaffirms his commitment to the ideals on which he ran," writes Cohn in the New Republic. "They want to know he’s listening, but they also want him to keep fighting. They can handle the complicated message—in fact, they want it."