In a very Clintonesque State of the Union address with a host of small bore initiatives President Obama made a stunning confession. Early on in his speech he noted:
“The cold hard fact is even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans
are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead. And
too many aren’t working at all.”
No Republican critic could have said it better. To be sure the Republican response given by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers was long on her personal biography and content free. It appears that both parties are not yet ready to make the concessions needed to improve the lot of the American people.
Also of significance was what was not said. Given all of the pre-speech hoopla about economic inequality, President Obama struck a moderate tone on the subject speaking of “ladders of opportunity” and increasing the minimum wage. My guess is that the class struggle rhetoric of the Elizabeth Warren-Bill deBlasio wing of the party didn’t poll well in this most political of White Houses. One can only hope that the cooler rhetoric will open the way useful compromise later in the year.