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Best of the Rest: January 29-31, 2010

| January 29, 2010



“ONE thing you can generally count on when the lanky figure of Barack Obama approaches a podium is that you will hear a good speech; and the more trouble he is in, the better the speech is likely to be. He has never spoken more powerfully than just after losing the New Hampshire primary back in January 2008, or when the eruption of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, threatened to derail him later that year. For his first state-of-the-union message on January 27th, the president needed something extra-special. His ratings are down below 50%, and the loss of a crucial Senate seat in Massachusetts a week earlier means that much of his domestic agenda, notably his efforts to reform health care, is stalled if not dead. But in place of the mighty oratory one might have expected, the president delivered an inordinately long, unrepentant but ultimately rather cautious speech that eschewed the tub-thumping and delivered a little bit to everyone.”From The Economist.

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