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The Jobs Speech

What exactly are we expecting the president to say?

3:45 PM, Sep 1, 2011 • By VICTORINO MATUS
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According to critics, President Obama's frequent television appearances do not boost his numbers—in fact, they either stay the same or get worse. There's also the tendency among some viewers to tune him out entirely. Either way, his supporters have placed an enormous amount of pressure on the commander in chief to deliver an address that not only bolsters the economy but also salvages his reelection prospects. But with a full week to discuss our expectations ("[H]is coming speech on jobs has to describe a program that’s broad and imaginative enough to capture the public’s attention," writes E.J. Dionne), there cannot possibly be any way for Obama to match them, with one exception.

The Jobs Speech

By Thursday night, having exhausted every angle of the speech that contains the plan that will boost employment and seal his reelection, we will be expecting nothing short of an address with as much emotional appeal as the jobs speech Kevin Kline gave in Dave. Of course that speech was ridiculously vague, but the press ate it up—especially Helen Thomas. But Kline's President Mitchell delivered it to the White House press corps, not to a joint session (that came later in the film and with a less happy result). And while vague, it was thankfully brief—something the real president is incapable of doing. (If you haven't seen Dave, I highly recommend it. The 1993 film is funny, cheerful, and earnest, though fantastical. It was directed by Ivan Reitman and stars Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, and Fred Barnes.)

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