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Over at Talking About Politics, Gary Pearce says:

Once you get past the dishing about Sarah Palin, John Edwards, et al in the book Game Change, you learn a few things. Like about President Obama. That he’s like a basketball player who wants the ball when the game is on [the] line.

That pretty much sums of my thinking about the big speech tonight. It's been a hell of a year, with a few important accomplishments, and many missed opportunities. I hope Mr. Obama gets his game back on.

From where I sit, he has badly underestimated the level of racist hate roaring through America right now, the fear and loathing being spread by bigots like Andre Bauer. He seems willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, even as they arm themselves for the next revolution.


Speaking of Bauer

A friend explained this weekend why Mark Sanford wasn't impeached. That action would have left a not-gay coke head in the governor's office.

Bauer is beloved by many. But his political career has been plagued by missteps both political and personal.

When Bauer was a state representative, he decided at the last minute to run for an open Senate seat, moving to Chapin and changing his voter registration on the last day of filing.

In 2003, while running late, Bauer ran two red lights in downtown Columbia before stopping for a police officer, who quickly pointed a gun at him. Originally charged with reckless driving, the lieutenant governor pleaded guilty to two lesser charges and paid a $311.25 fine.

In 2006, Bauer was pulled over by a state trooper after he was clocked at 101 mph on an interstate. Bauer used his state-issued radio to tell the officer he was "S.C. 2" -- code for lieutenant governor. He was not ticketed. When asked about it later, Bauer at first denied the story.

But Bauer has defended himself at every turn. He says "that officer was wrong," referring to the Columbia police officer who pulled a gun on him.

And he said he did not try to use his influence to get out of a speeding ticket -- and that he did not deny that he was pulled over.

"(The reporter) asked, 'Did you get a speeding ticket?' and I said 'no.' And that was the truth. Had he asked, 'Did you get pulled?' I'd have said 'yes.' And there is a vast difference there."

But some don't see the difference and wonder if Bauer has the credibility to restore respect to the governor's office should Sanford resign or be forced out.

"After a scandal, the person who comes in after has to rebuild trust between voters and this highest office," said Doug Woodard, political science professor at Clemson University. "Now you've got a problem. You've got a guy who's got a reputation of doing some reckless things."

That ain't the half of it. But not to worry. It's okay if you're a Republican.

That pretty much sums it up

"Once you get past the dishing about Sarah Palin, John Edwards, et al in the book Game Change, you learn a few things. Like about President Obama. That he’s like a basketball player who wants the ball when the game is on [the] line."

But those sitting in the cheap seats may be saying something to the effect that the game has been going on now for over one year. I would expect the "go to" player to have taken the game changing shot well before the team was 100 points behind with the clock running down.

But I do agree the game is on the line. I hope one shot will win it for the country. But I keep thinking of all those missed shots this past year. And all those shots not taken. A good player can fake out his opponents, drive around them and dunk the ball.

I doubt UNC would be the national powerhouse they are had they been using Obama's play calling. Most coaches would have pulled their number one player from the game if he had failed to take a shot in a year!

I hope the speech goes well but more than that - I hope he does something after the speech - like positive change. Not the Cornhusker Deal nor the Louisiana Purchase II. Something that we all can feel good about!

Show me how good you are, you've already told me!

Well said

"few important accomplishments, and many missed opportunities"

I reject the first half of that, but agree with the second.

President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he signed a bill to expand veteran benefits, he signed kids tobacco legislation, he signed a land protection act, & SCHIP, gave the Cairo speech to the Muslim world & has represented our country abroad (Europe seems to be pretty fond of him for the most part), he oversees an EPA that has shown it is willing to get tough on environmental issues via regulation if the congress won’t via legislation, he gave a widely watched education speech, he's advocated for science in our schools, & is for stem cell research, he's appointed a supreme court justice, he's ended torture, respects the Geneva Convention, and has plans to close Gitmo (albeit behind schedule after responding to facts on the ground), he's going to have us out or Iraq next year and starting to pulling out of Afghanistan (the one that actually attacked us) at the same time.

And since he gets a hard time on gay rights (& deservedly so) , here is a section on what he has done so far. On the gay rights from he has signed legislation such as the hate crimes bill, and ryan white care act, he has lifted the travel/immigration ban based on HIV status earlier this month, he has expanded federal benefits to gay spouses which is the largest employer in the US & in some sense sets the tone for many other employers, he's invited gay couples to public white house family holiday events (& to the State of the Union, the guest list even mentions a gay couple adopting), he's appointed openly gay officials as well as gay ambassadors. He's called for the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell on the campaign trail, again after taking office during the National Equality March weekend, and said (although he should certainly say it louder & more often) he would sign legislation relating to repealing DADT, the repealing of the Defense of Marriage Act, & enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

And then of course there is all the day to day of meetings & running the country. All of this without mentioning any health care reform efforts or economic recovery efforts which are the areas that have seen the most work. And it wasn’t just keeping Wall Street from collapsing, but cash for clunkers which had an economic and environmental aspect to it, and first time home buyer subsidies, and so on. Combine that with recent efforts to get money back from the banks, and recent efforts to fight corporate rule, & the SCOTUS decision and I think he has more than a few important accomplishments.

You make good points, Jake, as always

I should amend my comment to say "many important accomplishments" as you have well chronicled. Thanks for the correction.