Barack Obama

A Preview of Obama's Big DNC Speech–and a Brief Review of His Presidency


President Barack Obama will take the stage in Charlotte tonight to make the case for his reelection. According to the Boston Globe, Obama's speech "will be about promise — the kind he'll say he has kept, and the kind of feeling he wants to stir once more. He will take people back to the start of his presidency to make a case why their lives are better, but his bigger imperative is to sell himself as better for middle-class America than Republican Mitt Romney."

If the Globe's preview wasn't clear enough, here's some plain English: Obama will not talk about the things you, dear reader, care about. Not the issues important to libertarians, not the issues important to anti-interventionists, not the issues important to transparency advocates or proponents of small government. While lesser Democrats may care about them, and the other promises Obama has broken, don't expect them to talk about them either between now and November.  

That's why we'll address a few of them here, on the President's behalf.

Despite his promise to reform America's health care system without kowtowing to lobbyists or draining the country's coffers, Obama did both. And then he lied about it. "Such fudges," Matt Welch wrote in a piece about the lies that sold Obamacare, "reveal a politician who, for whatever reason, feels like he can't be honest about the real-world costs of expanding health care."

Despite a decade spent criticizing the war on drugs, President Obama has done nothing substantial to alter American drug policy. "It would be going too far to say that Obama has been faking it all these years, that he does not really care about the injustices perpetrated in the name of protecting Americans from the drugs they want," writes Jacob Sullum in the most thorough piece to date on Obama's drug record. "But he clearly does not care enough to change the course of the life-wrecking, havoc-wreaking war on drugs."

Despite the reticence he once expressed about prolonging America's unnecessary wars, Obama has kept our two lengthiest engagements going, and started new ones when he didn't have to. This led Reason contributor Ira Stoll to ask two very important questions: "First, where are the antiwar protests? And second, where is the press?"

After Obama's most recent State of the Union Address, in which he railed against bailouts while simultaneously defending them, Peter Suderman forecasted what his reelection might mean for taxpayers: "If Obama's top example of successful policy is any example, more bailouts, more handouts, more special treatment for favored companies and industries, and more phony profits." 

After Obama declared earlier this year at a campaign rally in Ohio, "I refuse to take 'no' for an answer!", Reason contributor Gene Healy put an end to the myth that obstructionist Republicans had tied Obama's hands: "Bush never fought a war without congressional authorization—as Obama did in Libya. Nor did Bush ever publicly claim the power to assassinate American citizens via drone strike, far from any battlefield. And deeming the Senate 'functionally' in recess was a bridge too far even for Bush. When Bush's attorneys urged him to do it in 2008, he declined. The Rob Cordray appointment is just the latest instance where 44 has gone even further than 43 in the abuse of executive power."

You won't hear any of this tonight, because the Democrats are in denial. But go ahead and enjoy the show anyway. Your tax dollars, after all, are paying for it. We'll be livetweeting it right here at 

NEXT: NJ Considers Easing School Red Tape

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  1. Shorter Obama: Boy that Bush, he done fucked this country but good. It’s gonna take me four more years, at least, to fix his mess.

    1. He needs to do that reverse whistle thing that mechanics do too.

  2. My critque of tonight’s speech? Obama will spew self-reverential drivel while appearing to be watching a tennis match.

  3. Problem is, Obama’s running the same campaign he ran in ’08.

    You don’t say the same things in a performance review that you say when you’re applying for a job, or your employer might get the idea that you aren’t doing much for their bottom line…

    1. Maybe that is because Obama is not used to applying for a job and getting performce reviews.

  4. What’s with the halo?

    1. You’ve never heard of the Second Coming!

  5. Steelworker Featured at DNC Didn’t Work for Bain

    The Democratic National Convention on Wednesday featured three speakers billed as “former employees of companies controlled by Bain Capital.”
    They each told compelling stories about jobs lost, allegedly because of the actions of Bain under Romney’s leadership.
    But it turns out one of those employees never actually worked for a company controlled by Bain Capital.
    David Foster was supposedly one of those former employees on the convention schedule. He told the story about 750 steelworkers who lost their jobs when the Bain-controlled company GST steel filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990s.
    “In 2001, with GST bankrupt and Romney still CEO of Bain, I stood in front of hundreds of steelworkers in their 50s and 60s, and retirees in their 70s and 80s, and told them Romney and Bain had broken their promises. Jobs, vacation pay, severance, health insurance and pension benefits that were promised ? they were all gone,” he said.…..-for-bain/

    1. “I worry that my son might not understand what I’ve tried to be. And if I were to be killed, Willard, I would want someone to go to my home and tell my son everything. Everything I did, everything you saw, because there’s nothing that I detest more than the stench of lies. And if you understand me, Willard, you will do this for me. “

      1. The horror. The horror.

      2. Ah. It’s from Apocalypse now. I thought the steelworker was getting melodramatic about a potential on-the-job accident, possibly caused by insufficient regulation or somesuch.

  6. Alt-text: “We couldn’t figure out how to make the crown-of-thorns button work in Photoshop”

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