President Obama talks with Director of Speechwriting Cody Keenan in the Oval Office, July 23 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Yahoo: President Barack Obama’s speech on economic policy Wednesday will be the first in an ambitious series of six addresses laying out a sweeping vision for America’s future. The philosophy at the core of the campaign will be familiar, but there will be “aggressive new ideas.”
That’s according to Cody Keenan, the speechwriter in charge of crafting what may be Obama’s most far-reaching second-term effort to get Americans to sign on to his plans.
… Obama’s six speeches will cover education, housing, retirement security, health care, poverty and jobs, Keenan said…
“In the weeks ahead — especially when it comes to college costs, which is something he’s obsessed with — we’ll have some aggressive new ideas,” said Keenan.
Time: Why Obama Keeps Going Back to One Small Illinois College
…. Knox has a special place in the President’s heart and in American history. “It’s the place where I gave my first big speech after I had been elected to the U.S. Senate,” Obama said at a recent event in Washington. Wednesday marks his third visit – once as a Senate candidate, once as a Senator and now as commander-in-chief – adding to a long history of presidents and political figures who have left a mark on the college.
Founded in 1837 by religious missionaries who opposed slavery, Knox College was, from its beginning, a progressive institution that welcomed women and people of color. In 1858, the college was the site of the fifth of seven Lincoln-Douglas debates, where Abraham Lincoln, challenging incumbent Senator Stephan A. Douglas, debated the nature and future of slavery.
Leaders of the Republican Party are still predicting that Obamacare will be a disaster, one that will wreak havoc on American health care. Most of their allies in the media say the same thing. But a small group of conservative intellectuals has been warning that the law might not be so apocalyptical — that, with full implementation about to begin, wholesale repeal may no longer be possible…
… Once Americans can take advantage of the law’s benefits — once more low-income people become eligible for Medicaid, and once more low- and middle-income people start to get subsidies that will help them buy private insurance — taking those benefits away will be nearly impossible, particularly since Republicans still haven’t proposed an alternative that would come close to providing the same level of security.
The speaker says Republicans should be judged on how many laws they repeal. This is unprecedented, irresponsible, and terrifying. …
It would be impossible to name the craziest thing said by a Republican so far this year….
New entrants arrive constantly and the competition is feral. And yet paradoxically they don’t even shock anymore. But one recent Republican remark should arrest you and deserves your contemplation: John Boehner’s statement on Face the Nation Sunday that he and his House Republicans “ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”
It’s not an outrageous statement in the Obama-wants-to-impose-Sharia vein, but in its way it’s more disturbing. The Republican Party now sees dysfunction as not just an unfortunate consequence of a set of historical factors, something that they might work every now and again to correct. Now, the Republican Party sees dysfunction as its mission.
Family values are a pillar of traditional Republican discourse. But as soon as it comes time to address immigration issues, all of their emphasis on family unity goes out the window, replaced by advocacy for division.
This is the logical conclusion that follows from the KIDS Act, being developed by the House of Representatives. While this House bill would legalize the status of minors brought to the United States without papers by their parents, it would be the only measure the lower house would approve to regularize the status of anyone undocumented, unlike the Senate bill that initially aspired to benefit 11 million people.
The bill’s sponsor, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, speaking in favor of the measure, stated that this is a matter of “decency and compassion”…..
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At the JFK School of politics; Favreau discusses how he met then Senator Obama at the 04 DNC convention, his job interview w/ PBO the week after he was elected, fun anecdotes like his fear of flying and the process/stories on how famous PBO speeches over the last decade were created.
Matt Latimer (The Daily Beast): All the turmoil in the GOP 2012 field only enables Mitt Romney – and that must make the White House very happy. Former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer on the Republicans’ disastrous presumptive nominee.
…..There were more than a few of us who believed that Tim Pawlenty would eventually triumph in the Republican primaries under the slogan, “He Annoys You The Least.” But he was so easily overshadowed by Herman Cain and Rick Santorum in last week’s far too early GOP debate that he really ought to drop out just on principle.
With the latest fundraising news, and yet another round in the Newt Gingrich gaffe-o-lympics, it looks like the GOP is going to come up Romney after all. All this of course is wonderful news for the Obama White House. There is no more ideal candidate for the President to run against than Governor Rombot himself.
…Romney comes off as the candidate who refuses to blow his nose until it has been sketched out days earlier with overpaid consultants, put before three separate focus groups, and only tended to by tissue paper made in Iowa or New Hampshire.
…Last week he delivered a PowerPoint presentation on health care to a helpless audience at the University of Michigan … it was for students the equivalent of watching their parents’ vacation slides … it led to hilarious headlines: “Mitt Romney: I Will Never Impose My Awesome Massachusetts Law On The Nation.”
Team Obama has to be lighting candles every day for a gift like this. Romney will prove so predictable, so calculated, so filled with everything money can buy but ideas that the White House can already plot out his every utterance – all the way from his love of ethanol in Iowa to his gauzy Reagan-invoking ads in New Hampshire to his selection of Huckabee as a running mate to his short, gracious concession speech on election night, his hair immobile in the gentle Massachusetts wind.
….President Obama can easily make Romney’s poll-tested but unthinking “less government” mantra look heartless and the governor’s sunny, nonspecific, cotton candy rhetoric look like, well, a vapid PowerPoint presentation. Romney’s army of consultants will have nothing to offer their candidate except gaping mouths. This is what happens when you only play a conservative on TV.