If you are interested, here’s the link to today’s Vermont Edition discussion with Jane Lindholm of Senator Leahy’s proposal for a Truth Commission. (The link to VPR is here.) When you get to the VPR webpage, click on the listen link. To get a sense of the depth of passions this issue raises, however, you should go to the emails below the introductory paragraph. I think I recognize some of smarter comments as coming from contributors to this blog…
Obama’s speech starts at 9 tonight. Look for Vermont’s Governor Douglas to be sitting in the presidential box – a sign that Obama hasn’t given up on symbols of bipartisanship. Note also who is giving the Republican response – Louisiana Governor Bob Jindal. It is a chance for him to get some national exposure and – possibly – compete with Sarah Palin as the media speculates who is next in line for the Republican presidential nomination. Note that Jindal had a chance this weekend while on the talkshows to take himself out of the running for 2012. He did not do so.
Obama is likely to offer a blizzard of policy proposals. The key point to take from his speech, however, is the tone: how does he balance conveying a sense of optimism in the country’s future with the need to educate the public regarding the problems ahead, particularly as they relate to the economy? Reagan was a master at this – but Reagan was running against government. His mantra was “government is not the solution – it is the problem!” Obama has the tougher sell – he needs to convince people that government will be part of the solution.
The other interesting issues will be whether he continues to make appeals for bipartisanship, and the anecdotes he uses to appeal to the “common man.”
I’ve set the over/under on applause lines at 6. For standing applause by Democrats only, the line is 3.
For tonight’s word game, look for the following: