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Jindal's missed opportunity

  • Justin Webb
  • 25 Feb 09, 06:33 PM GMT

The real story of last night was that the revelation that the Republicans are still without a decent candidate for 2012. Bobby Jindal was widely thought to have been awful - he certainly looked like a minor figure compared with the president.

Partly that is the result of the setting - President Obama gets Congress and Mr Jindal gets a flat TV backdrop - but there was more as well, as unkind reviewers have been queuing up to point out.

Come back Sarah Palin...

The end of the War on Terror?

  • Justin Webb
  • 25 Feb 09, 03:06 AM GMT

The terrorists - in Obamaland - are lumped in with other problems the world faces: global warming, disease, etc.

The war IS over it seems to me, listening to him speak. Not the fight, but the war.

The enemy was not raised onto a pedestal in this speech, to be taunted and threatened. The enemy was mentioned almost casually - among other priorities. Mr Obama said he would not let them sit and plot against America. Is he right? Or is Dick Cheney?

Ambitious healthcare promise

  • Justin Webb
  • 25 Feb 09, 02:56 AM GMT

The healthcare promise - reform cannot wait another year - is staggeringly ambitious. Can he do it?

Carter promised it. So did Clinton. Even Teddy Roosevelt, according to Mr Obama (I didn't know that!)

I hope so: just had another bill from the hospital for my son - this was for a day of education about diabetes. Cost: $629. Madness.

My insurer will pay - several of the other parents were barely able to manage to provide sugar-free breakfasts. They won't pay.

They will be chased: money will chase money and never catch up.

It is appallingly wasteful.

Obama gets away with it

  • Justin Webb
  • 25 Feb 09, 02:39 AM GMT

Poor George Bush.

If he had messed up as his successor did and started his speech too soon (not waiting for Speaker Pelosi to bring Congress to order) or indeed committed all the other minor infractions that Mr Obama regularly does, it would have been put down to his ineptness.

With Mr Obama it does not work.

He just looks as if he is a young fellow held back by foolish folderol. Style is so important - Bush's stiffness made him look as if he was messing up.

Mr Obama is languid enough to fall over and still look fine. Only one slightly off note - Nancy Pelosi. She looks too pleased with herself, too pleased with him.

She does him no favours.

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