In Obama’s speech on the budget deficit earlier this month, the president went out of his way to praise the free market, but balanced it against the need for collective action sponsored by the government:
Lately, I’ve been staying up late at night because I’m just too stressed over the state of the union. Unable to sleep, I often find myself toggling between scores of Excel spreadsheets, crunching all sorts of numbers to get my mind around the gaping budget deficit that is threatening the country. It isn’t pretty, as we all know, and unfortunately my computations have only made me feel worse.
I knew pretty early on during tonight’s speech that President Obama had rejoined—or joined—the historical American foreign policy mainstream. It was when he mentioned Charlotte (the city, not the spider):
President Obama opposed the war in Iraq. He still thinks it was a mistake. It's therefore unrealistic for supporters of the war to expect the president to give the speech John McCain would have given, or to expect President Obama to put the war in the context we would put it in. He simply doesn't believe the war in Iraq was a necessary part of a broader effort to fight terror, to change the Middle East, etc. Given that (erroneous) view of his, I thought his speech was on the whole commendable, and even at times impressive.