Quick Morning After Thoughts On Obama's Speech

1 - These thing are always a Rorschach test, but in our household Obama was king of the world last night. In fact, my wife Jody (as usual) had the best quick take when he was done. "After he does eight years as president," she said, "he'll clearly go on to be president of the world." She meant that since we'll increasingly be looking for new forms of global governance to deal with all the important stuff that can only be dealt with across borders, Obama will create or lead whatever premiere institution has emerged or is being set up in this regard. Yes, I know, we've got a recession to conquer and health care, energy and education to fix first. Still, sounds like a plan!

2 - During the always amusing cutaway shots I couldn't help noticing the wistful looks on many of the presidential wannabes in the audience, all of whose faces had the same sentiment grudgingly etched in italics: "I really wanted this, but this guy's got the goods in ways I never will." On my list that captured John Kerry, Evan Bayh, John McCain and Jay Rockefeller. Maybe I missed some.

3 - Can't wait to see what Obama said was the $2 trillion in budget savings over ten years they've already identified when the budget outline gets unveiled Thursday. Team Obama is laying the groundwork for the kind of budget honesty we haven't seen since -- well, since Clinton, in whose OMB I proudly served. If the $2 trillion over ten is real stuff (and not magic asterisky) it will be fabulous. Fingers crossed.

4 - Wonder if anyone else was as struck as I was by Obama's message to kids about not dropping out of high school. If you drop out, he said, "you're not just quitting on yourself -- you're quitting on your country." Why hasn't a president put it that way before? Another great example of Obama's instinct for using the bully pulpit to make a difference. Look for that quote to be up on placards in high poverty schools across America soon. Hope they develop a more detailed "hang in there" You Tube message from Obama that schools and other caring adults can show to every kid who's at risk of dropping out.


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