From Gloria Feldt, the former head of Planned Parenthood:
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been a harsh critic of Obama’s leadership or lack of it since he took office, not because I supported Clinton (which I did but I got over it), but as someone who understands the responsibilities of a chief executive to create meaning, articulate a vision, and put forth an agenda for people to work from. From the time he was elected until now, his vision kept shrinking rather than expanding and his penchant for appeasing even the unappeasable has been nothing short of maddening.
That unwillingness to put a stake in the agenda ground left the Democrats in Congress adrift. The result has been that even when Obama scored accomplishments such as heath reform, it never felt like a victory. Because it was never clean cut, never a righteous fight.
But I have to say he knocked it out of the ballpark tonight in his State of the Union Address (full text here). His energetic delivery, piquant story telling, and frequent appeals to the highest American values made me remember the Obama I voted for in 2008 and thought had disappeared entirely.
It was brilliant to start and end with foreign policy and homage to the military, whose selflessness and teamwork contrast so sharply with the circular firing squad that is Congress. “Imagine what we could achieve if we all had the selflessness of the troops.”
Best line of the speech IMHO: **Fight obstruction with action.**
Where have you been these last three years, Mr. President? Welcome back.