The Chamber

Got some emails asking me what I thought about President Obama’s speech at the Chamber of Commerce, but I haven’t read or watched the speech yet, so I will have to refrain from commenting. On the other hand, the crack team at the Politico has a deeply insightful analysis:

What could I possibly say that could compare to that though provoking and compelling breakdown of the appearance? It was so thorough, that really, the only question left unexamined was “What does Luke Russert think?”

33 replies
  1. 1
    JGabriel says:

    OT, but this is terrifying. TPM headline:

    Bill Kristol: Glenn Beck Is ‘Marginalizing Himself’ With Egypt ‘Hysteria’

    You know what this, don’t you? It means: OMG! GLENN BECK IS RIGHT!


  2. 2
    KCinDC says:

    Is Thomas Donohue a clone of Jack Valenti (late head of the evil RIAA)? They look alike, and a few years back they were the two highest-paid heads of nonprofit trade groups.

  3. 3
    SteveinSC says:

    “What does Luke Russert think?”

    Luke Russert thinks? Now that is surprising news!

  4. 4
    mr. whipple says:

    It was great.

    Shorter Obama: “Quit whining you pampered, unpatriotic, reactionary, greedy sacks of dung and hire some Merkins, if you get with the program we’ll help you. kaithanxai”

    Loved the fruitcake blast, too.

    Of course the Firebaggers said Obama threw them under the bus.

  5. 5
    The Dangerman says:

    I watched most of it; it was basically a repeat of the State of the Union. It was odd in the lack of appreciation from the audience; almost complete stony silence except for those two applause sequences. Unsurprisingly, once was for a reference to Hookers and the other was a reference for Blow.

  6. 6

    No More Mr. Nice Blog has a good post on this:

    If you think about it, he’s asking for the economy to work the way right-wingers say it should. Right-wingers say that showering wealth on the rich in the form of tax cuts inevitably helps the rest of us. They say they want the rest of us to be helped, which is why they want the tax rates of the wealthy to be reduced. So, see, right-wingers want corporate profits to be “shared” by American workers. Right-wingers want to “spread the wealth around.”

  7. 7

    Yeah, but how many times did Code Pink clap for W?

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    I think Obama muttered something about rich corps sharing their profit bundles with the peasant workers. Sort of like pimping repeal of the 21nd amendment at an Al Capone business roundtable.

  9. 9
    Allan says:

    Haha. I was arguing with a true progressive today on dKos, and her evidence that organized labor is FURIOUS and FUMING and OUTRAGED at Obama because the DNC is being held in that anti-union hellhole of Charlotte NC was to link me to not one, not two, but THREE different Politico stories by the same writer who is deeply, deeply concerned about how Obama has personally failed organized labor by allowing the party to make this terrible, terrible decision.

    I asked the true progressive if she could tell me about the unionization status of Politico’s employees.

  10. 10
    Mr Furious says:

    I was annoyed prior to the speech by the framing on NPR that Obama needs to go make nice with the business community because they feel they’ve been tormented since his inauguration.

    Fuck them. Obama has been exceedingly business-friendly at a time he’d’ve been more than justified going on a populist witch hunt. These Galtian fucks can rest assured that they’re going to do better than they deserve in any forthcoming tax reforms.

  11. 11
    Big City Mary says:

    Oh for goodness sakes, forget all that and run, don’t walk over to Saturday Night Live site(no clue how to do the linky thingie) and watch the “cold opening” with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey doing Waynes World and then Dana Carvey doing the church lady bit, absolutely great comedy and why SNL was so great during the Myers-Carvey tenure. Oddly, it was the week Justin Bieder was the host and I figure he was so bad they had to do triage with bringing back a few of the greats.

  12. 12
    mr. whipple says:

    I was annoyed prior to the speech by the framing on NPR that Obama needs to go make nice with the business community because they feel they’ve been tormented since his inauguration.

    Obama told them to eat fruitcake. Priceless.

  13. 13
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    What’s this about the Chamber having the clap?

  14. 14
    cat48 says:

    His reminder to business that changes in the tax code need to benefit everyone:

    “If we’re fighting to reform the tax code and increase exports to help you compete, the benefits can’t just translate into greater profits and bonuses for those at the top. They should be shared by American workers, who need to know that expanding trade and opening markets will lift their standard of living as well as your bottom line. We cannot go back to the kind of economy — and culture — we saw in the years leading up to the recession, where growth and gains in productivity just didn’t translate into rising incomes and opportunity for the middle class.”

  15. 15
    Alex S. says:

    Twice, as in two single claps by two single people, or two single claps by the same person, or each person in the room clapping exactly two times during the whole speech, or does twice refer to the number of “applause phases” resulting in multiple claps by the whole entity that goes by the name of “Chamber of Commerce”, I have a right to know!!

  16. 16
    Joel says:

    Could have been worse.

    They could have clapped once.

  17. 17
    SteveinSC says:

    @Allan: I don’t know, maybe you ought to check this out. It happened in Gastonia one of the suburbs of Charlotte.

  18. 18
    Uloborus says:

    My god. I’m about two thirds of the way through this speech now and I’m stunned they didn’t shoot him. In candy-coated phrases that praised how amazing they are he repeatedly told them that he’s doing his damnedest to shut down every way they game the system, and he’s doing it deliberately to force them to produce rather than leech. Some of it’s quite subtle and nasty. That bit about 12 different agencies means he’s consolidating the bureaucracy so that regulatory capture is more difficult.

    Obama delivers the most polite ‘fuck you’s in the history of the English language. I’m reminded of the Q&A session with the Republican Caucus. Just… wow.

  19. 19
    mk3872 says:

    True, this is the classic Politico TMZ-style beltway story.

    But my favorite of the day was Politico & Tapper breathlessly reporting that Obama was LATE (OMG!) in calling the Green Bay Packers to congratulate them on the Super Bowl win.

  20. 20
    mr. whipple says:


    That was exactly my take. I watched it, and then for hours laughed at how subtly he spanked them. It was beautiful.

  21. 21
    Comrade Mary says:

    Gee, even the Wolfman got more applause than that.

  22. 22
    Uloborus says:

    @mr. whipple:
    Dear god. That bit about the tax code? Where he’s like ‘Yes, you’re right! Our corporate tax is too high! Don’t worry, I intend to eviscerate all the tax dodges that let some companies underpay their share so that the overall rate can be lowered. I’m sure none of YOU are in those underpaying companies, so isn’t that great?’ just blew me away.

  23. 23
    lacp says:

    I thought “Chamber claps twice for Obama” was some kind of Zen riddle.

  24. 24
    Maude says:

    It’s worth getting up in the morning to hear Obama talk to the snotty types.
    What the msm doesn’t appreciate is that Obama is subtle and the humor is wonderful. They hate him because he is intelligent.
    At the first State dinner, they had arugla from their garden. No one caught it.

  25. 25
    Uloborus says:

    …in reference to the tax code thing, I actually think this is a crucial point about Obama’s policies.

    I hear a great deal of ‘Obama supports traditional Republican policy’. The thing is, the devil really is in the details. This is an absolutely perfect example. Obama wants to reduce the corporate tax rate – after the loopholes that let big companies game the system are removed. The former is a traditional Republican policy that Obama supports. The latter is why the Republicans hate it to death when Obama proposes it.

  26. 26
    Roger Moore says:

    @Big City Mary:

    no clue how to do the linky thingie


    1) Copy link address from the address bar
    2) Highlight the text you want to form the link
    3) Push the “link” button
    4) Paste link address into the popup window
    5) Click OK

    You have now added a link to your post.

  27. 27
    RalfW says:

    Obama’s subtlety and ability to maneuver policy is a thing to behold. I worry that playing too far above too many people’s heads may have some risk. But overall, I think Obama really plays long ball, and that totally confuses the right. They are so infected with the win-the-cycle media types and max-the-quarter business types that they just have no idea he’s working the 4-year total pwn.

  28. 28
    Jenny says:

    @RalfW: he also totally confuses populists – the is a broad swath of the blogosphere who only wants red meat, and not fancy food cooked by a master chef.

  29. 29
    Jenny says:

    @SteveinSC: by this logic, no convention could ever be held in Chicago because of the Haymarket massacre.

  30. 30
    lol says:


    He did this a lot with the health care bill, except the right-wing noticed what he was doing while the firebagger left did not.

  31. 31

    Firebagger left! Ugh. They should be washed, diapered, and put to bed. We need a little grown up time with our grown-up president.

  32. 32
    SteveinSC says:

    @Jenny: Well you wanted to know why labor does not like the choice. And when did they enact right-to-work (sic) laws in Illinois again?

  33. 33

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