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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Speeches

White House bubble? Fundraising Obama boasts he 'could not be prouder' of his presidential record

Obama waves in NY as he boards Air Force One 6-23-11

Did somebody say political disconnect?

When Barack Obama became president of the United States, the national unemployment rate was 7.3%. Today, it is 9.1%, almost 14 million American workers idle. Millions more if you count those who've surrendered to no paycheck.

This despite the spending of $787 billion in stimulus money that was promised to keep unemployment below 8% and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs each month by last year. In May the private sector created 54,000 new jobs.

The Federal Reserve estimates unemployment by the fall of 2012 will be somewhere between 7.8% and 8.2%. No incumbent president in 75 years has been reelected with unemployment above 7.2%.

When Barack Obama became president, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. Today, it is $14.3 trillion, a 35% increase in 885 days. Borrowing of nearly $4.2 billion every day, photo op or not.Obama embraces Whoopi Goldberg at a New York Democratic fundraiser 6-23-11

On his second day in office when Barack Obama signed that executive order to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility within one year, his job approval was 69%.

Yesterday, according to Gallup, Obama's job approval was 43%.That's down 25 points among whites, down 24 among seniors, down 23 among independents, down 22 among men, down 21 among women.

Fifty percent of Americans disapprove of his job.

The latest Bloomberg National Poll finds 2 out of 3 Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Only 23% see signs of economic recovery.

Only 10% expect employment to improve within two years. A plurality favor repealing Obama's trademark healthcare legislation, and Gallup found Americans' economic confidence plunging again this month.

Gallup's latest generic 2012 presidential ballot reveals Obama losing to some Republican 39%-44%.

With his wife, daughters, mother-in-law, niece and nephew on safari in Africa, the president was baching it on the road for a four-speech Thursday. The campaign's first quarter of fundraising totals are due to the Federal Election Commission in early July. His Chicago organization plans to raise $1 billion before Nov. 6, 2012.

So with budget talks with congressional Republicans near collapse and VP Joe Biden off duty at home Friday, Obama was back in New York City on Thursday to do another three Democratic fundraisers. He opened at a quiet restaurant soiree with Wall Street bankers, private equity investors and hedge fund managers, who paid $35,800 per plate to dine with the man who's publicly bashed them so often.

The evening's last Obama event in Manhattan was at the Broadway Theatre, hosted by TV yapper Whoopi Goldberg. The Real Good Talker from the White House promised the 1,400 enthusiastic audience members he wouldn't give a long speech. But during his 21-minute oration he did utter one amazing boast:

The track record of the last  21/2  years is one that I could not be prouder of.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photos: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press (Top, Obama boards Air Force One in New York. Bottom, he embraces Whoopi Goldberg at one of three Democratic fundraisers he attended Thursday night in New York City).

Obama starts Afghan troop drawdown with 10,000 this year, 23,000 more before 2012 election

White House TV monitors carry the president's afghan troop drawdown speech live 6-22-11

 

President Obama's remarks on Afghan war and U.S. troop drawdown, as provided by the White House

Good evening. Nearly ten years ago, America suffered the worst attack on our shores since Pearl Harbor.  This mass murder was planned by Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network in Afghanistan, and signaled a new threat to our security – one in which the targets were no longer soldiers on a battlefield, but innocent men, women and children going about their daily lives. 

In the days that followed, our nation was united as we struck at al Qaeda and routed the Taliban in Afghanistan. Then, our focus shifted. A second war was launched in Iraq, and we spent enormous blood and treasure to support a new government there. 

By the time I took office, the war in Afghanistan had entered its seventh year. But

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Jon Huntsman: America needs 'leadership that trusts in our strength'

Jon Huntsman Family Walka to his presidential Announcement 6-21-11

 

Text of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's presidential campaign announcement, as provided by his office

I'm Jon Huntsman, and I'm humbled.

I've been a governor of the great state of Utah. I've been a businessman. I've been a diplomat.

I'm the husband of the love of my life, the greatest human being I've ever known, Mary Kaye, for 28 years. I'm the father of seven terrific kids. I'm the son of great parents, who are here with me today, celebrating a very important anniversary, including a birthday.

I'm from the American West, where the view of America is limitless with lots of blue sky. I've lived overseas four times, where the view of America from 10,000 miles away is a picture of liberty, opportunity and justice.

People secure in their rights and in love with their liberty. People who have done more good for more people than any other nation on Earth.

And today, I'm a candidate for the office of president of the United States of America.

Thank you. Thank you. My kids can't believe I just said that. And I'm asking for....

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Gov. Rick Perry: What he would be saying if he were running for president, which, of course, he isn't -- yet

Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry speaks at Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans 6-18-11

Many of the big-name Republican presidential candidates spoke to the Republican Leadership Conference meeting in New Orleans this weekend -- Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum.

Jon Huntsman begged off sick. Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney were no-shows. And Ron Paul's fervent supporters among the 2,000 attendees pushed him over the top as a runaway straw poll winner, as we reported in detail here Saturday.

You'll never guess who did show up -- someone who's not officially running. (see video below.)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who said he really came to next-door Louisiana to persuade fellow Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal to stop stealing Texas football players.

By all appearances Perry and his top campaign aides, back from their brief stint helping Gingrich, are doing everything to prepare for a run starting later this summer.Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry's enthusiastic audience at Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans 6-18-11

Perry would clearly fill a gaping slot in the existing field, a Southerner, chief executive-type, governor with an anti-Washington ID.

Plus he's got a record of new conservative legislation (loser pays lawsuits and election day voter photo ID) and the kind of robust job creation that Washington is still only talking about.

Just by its own pro-business attitude, fiscal restraint and low taxes, Texas, according to Perry, has created 47% of all the new private sector in all 50 states during the last two years.

"I stand before you today," Perry told the crowd which chanted "Run, Rick, run," "as a disciplined, conservative Texan, a committed Republican and a proud American, united with you in the desire to restore our nation and revive the American dream."

Because we suspect you'll be hearing much more on the national stage from the longest-serving governor in Texas history, we're publishing this morning a video of his complete New Orleans speech. Watch below and see if you think he's running.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photos: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images (Perry speaking in New Orleans, June 18); Lee Celano / Reuters (Perry's enthusiastic audience).

Tim Pawlenty launches in Iowa: 'We will change America again, and this time it will be for the better'

Minnesota Republican governor Tim Pawlenty and wife Mary announce his GOP presidential candidacy 5-23-11 in Des Moines

Tim Pawlenty

Campaign announcement by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, as provided by aides

 

Thanks, Mary, for your very kind words and for your tremendous love and support. After serving eight years as Minnesota's governor, I was very much looking forward to life with Mary, and our daughters, in the Midwestern home we love. 

But with Mary's encouragement and wise counsel, we came to a different conclusion. And that brings me here today with this announcement.
           
I'm Tim Pawlenty, and I'm running for president of the United States.
 
We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. But, as we all know, America is in big trouble, and it won't get fixed if we keep going down the same path. If we want a new and better direction, we need a new and better president.
 
President Obama's policies have failed. But more than that, he won't even tell us the truth about what it's really going to take to get out of the mess we're in.
 
I could stand here and tell you that we can solve America's debt crisis and fix....

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How Jon Huntsman is introducing himself to New Hampshire voters -- and you

Simple commencement addresses can be tricky for politicians to give well and for their aides to write.

The point of the graduation ceremony, of course, has nothing to do with the politician. Likely no one in attendance will remember a single word uttered during the ceremonies.

The politician is there to lend import to the school (at the cost of a mere honorary degree and hopefully not at great length) and to the families also celebrating the end of tuition bills from that institution.

So, the politician must shine the light on graduates and their ecstatic families, while casually revealing something positive about himself, without appearing to hog the happy moment's spotlight.

To be honest, however, that happy spotlight is the only reason the politician is there, especially in places like, say, New Hampshire as the Republican primary season gets rolling.

Former ambassador to China and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was at....

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A three-speech day for President Obama, starting with the Coast Guard Academy graduation

Coast Guard Academy graduation 5-18-11

Every year a president traditionally gives the commencement address at one of the nation's five service academies.

This year was the Coast Guard Academy's turn in New London, Conn. The president spoke (full text below) to the 229 graduating cadets, families and faculty for 19 minutes enroute to two more speeches today, at a pair of political fundraisers in Boston.

President Obama's Graduation Remarks at the Coast Guard Academy, as provided by the White House

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Please be seated.  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  Distinguished guests, Governor Malloy and Congressman Courtney, families, friends, and most of all -- well, let’s try it this way. Cadets, what class is this?

CADETS:  Class of 2011!  (Applause.) 

THE PRESIDENT:  I just wanted to make sure. 

It is a great honor to be with you as we commission the newest ensigns in the United States Coast Guard.  And, cadets, let me say -- and I know your families will agree   -- you all look fantastic.  (Laughter.) 

Thank you, Secretary Napolitano, for your introduction, but more importantly, your outstanding leadership in keeping our homeland secure and -- along with Admiral Papp -- keeping our Coast Guard strong.

And to Admiral Burhoe and Academy faculty and staff, thank you for building these....

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What Michelle Obama is telling graduates this year

Michelle Obama at University of Northern Iowa graduation 5-7-11

 

Michelle Obama's University of Northern Iowa prepared graduation remarks, as provided by the White House

Thank you so much.  I am thrilled and honored to be here today to help celebrate the UNI class of 2011 – congratulations to all of you on making it to this day. Before I get started, I wanted to let you know that if my remarks run long, I promise to take a break and we’ll crank up the music for the Interlude Dance. I’ve been practicing to get that ninja robot part just right.
 
In all seriousness, I want to thank President Ben Allen for that very kind introduction as well as Executive Vice President and Provost Gloria Gibson, Board of Regents President David Miles, all of the members of the Board of Regents and Katie Berge for her wonderful speech. I also want to thank Congressman Bruce Braley, former Governor Chet Culver, Cedar Falls Mayor Jon Crews and Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark for being here today. And I want to say a special thank you to everyone here in the UNI-Dome especially all of you who changed your plans so that we could celebrate our graduates together today.
 
Now, as many of you know, this is not my first time here in Iowa. In fact, it feels like....

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Poor Obama confronts a grueling day today

Violin and Bow to make sad music for president obama

To hear President Obama tell it, he's a sad fellow these days.

The problem, it seems, is that he's president of the United States. "I miss being anonymous," the melancholy man moaned to a few White House visitors the other day.

Some Americans agree; they miss this Chicago pol being anonymous too.

The poor man, who turns 50 this summer, does live with his mother-in-law. But he said he especially misses Saturday mornings -- "rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed.”

Instead, Obama must endure 24-hour free room service, servants, drivers, a giant....

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Obama's ultimate deficit reduction speech: 5,187 words and not one of them was 'entitlements'

Obama reads his Deficit speech on his Teleprompter 4-13-11

Appropriately, President Obama said the word "deficit" 28 times in what his aides billed as "a major" deficit speech. (Don't hold your breath for Obama's first "minor" speech on anything.)

The Democrat mentioned "balanced" five times, "bipartisan" three times, "vulnerable" once, "middle class" five times, "wealthy" three times and -- wait for it -- "taxes" seven times. (As usual here, see the full text below.)

But by far the largest chunk of the federal budget, the area from which realistic cuts in future spending will have to come to ever balance the budget and address the $14-plus trillion deficit, are the non-discretionary "entitlements."

They are reputed to be the high-voltage third-rail of American politics, the money-back guarantee that U.S. voters bitterly cling to like small-town people with their religion and guns.

The community organizer, who believes he's entitled to a second term based on his record so far in the first term, simply could not bring himself to say that ugly word one single time this afternoon. And that single omission says more about his reelection strategy than all the other words he did say.

He'll leave that to the Republicans and hope that he and whoever takes Joe Biden's place on the ticket can hang that on them next year the way the GOP hung "healthcare" on so many Democrats last year -- and won big with it.

Related:

Why Obama was forced to give this deficit speech

Joe Biden thought Obama's deficit speech was...zzzzzzz

-- Andrew Malcolm

Speaking of entitlements, you are entitled to the best political commentary. Click here and follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Remarks by President Obama on the deficit, as provided by the White House

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much. (Applause.)  Please have a seat.  Please have a seat, everyone. It is wonderful to be back at GW. I want you to know that one of the reasons that I worked so hard with Democrats and Republicans to keep the government open was so that I could show up here today. I wanted to make sure that all of you had one more excuse to skip class. (Laughter.) You’re welcome. (Laughter.)  

I want to give a special thanks to Steven....

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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