Leading liberal commentators are pleased with president Obama’s speech yesterday in Osawatomie, Kansas.
His best speech ever on the economy, writes Robert Reich on his blog. Finally, we have the president we elected in 2008.
At last, writes Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast, Obama delivered his best speech in a very, very long time.
Obama has found his voice, writes John Cassidy on his blog at The New Yorker.
The populist, almost hour long, speech sets the tone for Obama’s election campaign. It’s not about bipartisan compromises. Rather, it is a passionate speech about the growing economic inequality in America, about the losing fight of the middle class and about economic justice whee Obama cites Teddy Roosevelt’s speech a 101 years ago in Osawatomie about the “New Nationalism.”
Here are a few excerpts from Obama’s speech.
“This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.”
”In the last few decades, the average income of the top one percent has gone up by more than 250%, to $1.2 million per year. For the top one hundredth of one percent, the average income is now $27 million per year. The typical CEO who used to earn about 30 times more than his or her workers now earns 110 times more. And yet, over the last decade, the incomes of most Americans have actually fallen by about six percent. This kind of inequality—a level we haven’t seen since the Great Depression—hurts us all.”
“It’s heartbreaking enough that there are millions of working families in this country who are now forced to take their children to food banks for a decent meal. But the idea that those children might not have a chance to climb out of that situation and back into the middle class, no matter how hard they work? That’s inexcusable. It’s wrong. It flies in the face of everything we stand for.”
“I’m here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we’re greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them.“