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What Was Missing from Last Night’s Speech?

By Doug Powers  •  September 9, 2011 02:03 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Wall Street has been so impressed with last night’s “jobs speech” that in President Obama’s honor they’ve dedicated today’s Dow Industrials graph to the presidential approval rating for the year. A high honor indeed.

As for last night’s speech, could Obama have said “pass this jobs bill” a little more often? You know what they say: “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, 14 times is annoying.” If Reagan would have said “tear down this wall” over a dozen times in a single speech there might still be Kremlinites sitting in East Berlin saying “he sounded like he wanted it too much.”

But what will disenchant the likes of Al Gore even more isn’t what was in the speech, but what wasn’t. President Obama didn’t once mention “green tech,” “clean energy” or “green jobs”:

President Obama gave Congress a jobs package that was boiled down to practical provisions — and clean energy didn’t make the cut.

Standing before both parties in the Capitol last night, Obama pressured lawmakers to quickly pass his $447 billion plan for updated highways, renovated schools and tax breaks for hiring businesses and workers. He urged Congress to “pass it right away” more than a dozen times.

The half-hour speech began like a State of the Union address, with Obama entering the House chamber after his Cabinet, to applause. But it ended in a somber tone. There was no soaring language about America’s potential in a new era of clean energy. It was an emergency rally to aid out-of-work neighbors, and perhaps the president’s political future.
“It was very good, but it wasn’t much of an energy speech. And that’s on purpose,” said Sam Popkin, a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego. “You want a pure jobs bill, you can’t adulterate it with a green bill at the same time right now.”

Wasn’t “green tech” supposed to be the answer for jobs? Obama side-stepping “clean energy” as an option when he needs to quickly brew up some jobs (lest he lose his) that will last at least through the next election is evidence that even he knows the notion of a “green jobs” economy is a farce. Most likely though Obama realized if he’d have touted stimulus for “green energy” on the heels of a Solyndra debacle that is deepening he’d have earned yet another chuckle.

**Written by Doug Powers

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