Obama Speech Mixed Game of Chutes, Ladders

'Educator-in-chief's' address worked sometimes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2010 1:48 AM CST
Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi listen as President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – President Obama delivered some highly effective moments and some fizzles in his uneven State of the Union address, writes Tom Schaller. His pledge to mend Washington works is fine if it's merely rhetoric to put Republicans on their heels, but he should know by now that "making nice" won't get things done, Schaller writes at FiveThirtyEight.

It was good seeing Obama turn "educator-in-chief" and try to explain how budgeting and the deficit works, Schaller writes, but he should have taken a stab at explaining why politics isn't working. Obama's efforts at striking a populist tone worked when he spoke about banks, but he failed to sell health care reform well enough, and flopped when he got to the " laundry-listing section" of projects and initiatives.

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