President Barack Obama is a superb orator. If anyone can make a rousing speech, he can. He has proven it time and again. For him, words matter. He is calm, rational, never gets too emotional, and always tends towards the logical. Display of emotions is for losers, many an analyst has observed about his speaking style.
Tonight, he had the crowd's attention all the way. Talk about a "captive audience." Oh sure, the Republicans booed him and refused to stand up and cheer. That's what they always do.
Imagine the president's surprise when he thanked the GOP for its invaluable contributions to our national discourse and, instead of screaming "You lie," members of the loyal opposition stood up and cheered him when he uttered the following words of wisdom...
RJ Matson, Roll Call, Buy this cartoon
The president opened his speech by acknowledging that people are frustrated and angry around the country. What angers them? Joblessness, lack of easy bank credit, insufficient healthcare, and a bunch of other problems. He said he was angry too but that he'd done everything possible to alleviate people's fears and raise their hopes.
Freelance cartoonist Ed Stein offers the following explanation
In a word, the state of the union is ANGRY! The question for the president and for both parties to figure out is, at what? Because we have a two-party system, the only choice people have if they don’t like what’s happening is to vote for the other guy, even if the other guy is largely responsible for what’s happening, and the guy that’s in there now is in there because of the other guy’s mistakes. People are angry at deficits, largely run up by the irresponsibility of the Bush administration, and topped off by Obama. They’re angry that the bankers who got us in this mess are making millions while we lose our shirts, thanks mainly to deregulation promoted primarily by Republicans (but signed off on by Clinton). They’re angry about jobs, but there’d be a lot more of them if the stimulus package had been larger, which would have increased the deficit, which they’re angry about. They’re angry that Washington seems wholly beholden to special interests, so they’re going to vote for the party that loves special interests at least as much as the party in power now. They’re angry at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were started by the party they just voted out a year ago. They’re angry that Obama has accomplished so little of his agenda, so they’re going to vote for the party that has unanimously opposed every single aspect of it.
I’m angry, too, and I get to draw cartoons about what I’m angry about, which doesn’t solve any of the problems, but makes me feel good. I’m a Tea Party of one.
The president fervently believes in change and remains dedicated to that concept that he so brilliantly articulated during the 2008 Campaign. Bringing real change and changing the entrenched culture of special interests in Washington, D.C. is not that easy. Old habits die hard.
He reiterated that it is time, though, to make a few adjustments...
Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com, Buy this cartoon
Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News, Buy this cartoon
Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon
President Obama's credentials when it comes to fiscal responsibility are second to none. Freezing discretionary spending for three years is his mantra now. Waste, fraud, and abuse was a national problem that previous presidents had paid lip service too but had done nothing about it. All government agencies will, from now on, be run like the Pentagon, whose transparency and cost controls were the envy of all Goo-Goos (Good government types).
The Republicans cheered upon hearing this promise...
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Buy this cartoon
Nate Beeler, Washington Examiner, Buy this cartoon
The president acknowledged that the state of the economy is precarious but that, not unlike FDR, he was about to unveil a massive jobs program. The result would be that not only more Americans would be employed by this Fall but that the entire Western Hemisphere's unemployment problem would be solved.
A labor shortage? It is definitely within the realm of possibility, crowed his biggest supporter economist Paul Krugman...
Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant, Buy this cartoon
The Hartford Courant's Bob Englehart agrees with the president
Today's cartoon is based on a comment President Obama said recently. Sometimes I like to use a politician's words and make a cartoon of it. Obama said he admitted he walked into a buzz saw when he became president. Well, yes he did, but he hasn't done much to turn it off. There's a switch on the side, right where the thumb goes. In other words, the thumb has a JOB.
Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, Buy this cartoon
Jeff Parker, Florida Today
David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Star, Buy this cartoon
The source of our economic problems lay not only with George W. Bush's Laissez-faire policies but the greed and hubris displayed by Wall Street bankers. In a rebuke to Michael Douglas -- even if it was twenty three years later -- "Greed is not good," said President Obama. He was going to take on these merchants of creative destruction head-on and teach them a lesson they'll never forget.
It sent shivers down the spine of most bankers. When the president uttered these words, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner smirked...
Olle Johansson, Norra Vasterbotten (Sweden), Buy this cartoon
Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com, Buy this cartoon
The loudest cheers during the SOTU Speech came when the president applauded the Fab Five -- Chief Justic John Roberts and Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, and Sam Alito -- for their legal acumen and judicial restraint displayed in the landmark case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Calling it a Brown vs Board of Education type of decision for historically-oppressed corporations, the president could, as a former constitutional law professor, recognize the reasoning that was behind this momentous decision. A level playing field for corporations toiling in vain for centuries against powerful individual interests was simply necessary for a vibrant democracy.
Chief Justice Roberts seemed to agree and quietly muttered, "You betcha"...
Steve Greenberg, Freelance Cartoonist, Los Angeles, Buy this cartoon
Jeff Danziger, New York Times Syndicate
President Obama has probably had more success in the foreign policy arena than in domestic policy. The term 'War on Terror' -- the shameless centerpiece of the Bush Years -- is almost forgotten.
That is a real accomplishment. The Supreme Court, however, may have given Bin Laden other ideas...
Osama Bin Laden may be a forgotten man. But, thanks to the Supreme Court, he's re-inventing himself...
Mike Thompson, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Detroit Free Press
Ironically, the Supreme Court’s recent decision to "expand" free speech will ultimately restrict free speech. The court’s ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will result in a flood of corporate money that will drown out the voices of average Americans...
Welcome to the new America - where foreign-owned corporations have a greater voice in your government than you do. Is there anyone besides the five justices on the Supreme Court who actually agrees with this ruling?
He chided the Democratic caucus to use their historically large majorities in Congress to pass Healthcare Reform and other pending legislation. He severely criticized Republicans and gently urged them to stop obstructing his initiatives.
Now, if Democrats can find their collectives spines...
Nick Anderson, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Houston Chronicle
According to several breaking reports, the president is going to advocate equality for all serving gay and lesbian military personnel. As you can see in this diary, many are skeptical if indeed he'll fight forcefully to ensure that Congress enacts laws which ends this discriminatory policy once and for all.
As the below cartoons from last year show, the prevailing attitude seems to be, "Trust but verify"...
Steve Greenberg, VCReporter, Ventura, CA, Buy this cartoon
Mike Keefe, Denver Post, Buy this cartoon
Fresh starts and second chances are what this great country is all about. Pressing the reset button and jump starting his presidency is what he intended to do from now until the end of his tenure as leader of this great nation.
Both Democrats and Republicans were delirious. They had witnessed history and, as the president departed the House chamber, all present gave him a loud ovation which still hasn't stopped.
For this leader, the cheering never stops...
Tony Auth, Philadelphia Inquirer
Jeff Parker, Florida Today, Buy this cartoon
Pat Oliphant, Universal Press Syndicate
iBama by Patrick Corrigan, Toronto Star, Buy this cartoon
Jim Day, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Crossposted at Docudharma