Obama’s First Year

The annual State of the Union address is one of the great set-piece occasions in American politics. But the loss of the Kennedy “rotten borough” in Massachusetts and the upcoming mid-terms hung heavy over this year’s proceedings. As expected, Obama spent a good deal of the speech blaming all his woes on the previous administration and everyone else on the planet. His main preoccupation was to gloss over his doomed health care legislation and warble sweet nothings about jobs and the economy. On the eve of a major military offensive in Afghanistan, he also demonstrated that he is a war leader reluctant to shoulder the burden of what that entails.

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