The speech President Obama gave last night in Osawatomie, Kansas, was the "most important economic speech of his presidency," writes former labor secretary Robert Reich. "Here, finally, is the Barack Obama many of us thought we had elected in 2008," one who actually fights Big Money the way Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt did. Obama at last took a stab at "connecting the dots, laying out the reasons behind our economic and political crisis."
Obama explained eloquently the "defining issue of our time": Rising inequality, with a middle class not benefiting from productivity gains. That fueled America's hunger for debt, and hence the mortgage crisis, and it's led to a less upwardly-mobile society, breaking the fundamental promise of America. "There's far more to the speech," Reich concludes (he has extensive highlights on his blog). "It lays out the basis for what could be the platform Obama will run on in 2012 … a New Nationalism." (Read more Robert Reich stories.)