President’s Address Received Well By Congress, Nation; Governor Jindal’s Response Draws Criticism

Posted on February 27, 2009 by

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President Obama entering the house Chamber on Tuesday evening

President Obama entering the House Chamber on Tuesday evening

Update: The full address is available free — and in HD — at this link (hosted by hulu.com).

By Jim Chandley

President Obama was interrupted over 60 times on Tuesday night as he addressed Congress in a State of the Union-like speech that wasn’t technically called a State of the Union. He led with one of his only concrete accomplishments as President. ”I am proud to announce that The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law,” he told the nation.

He went on to discuss various problems facing the country today. Standing firmly on accountability for the money in the new stimulus package, the President vowed to watch where the money goes. ”I promise to hold these banks accountable… this time, CEO’s won’t be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks.”

The President also spoke about how innovation would be the future of the American economy. ”We need to make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy… and we need a retooled and re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win.”

On that subject, President Obama finished with an appeal to students and young people. He asked that everyone commit to at least one year of higher education, whether it be job training, community college or a four year school. He also added, “Dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It isn’t just quitting on yourself anymore; it’s quitting on your country.”

Meanwhile, back in the heartland…

After the speech, as has become the custom in our two-party system, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana gave the GOP “counter-speech.” Criticism of the speech came from both sides of the aisle in the hours to follow. The response, as a Boston Globe opinion piece put it “only showcases [the] party’s failures.”

Jindal spoke because this particular spotlight is often used to highlight the ‘future’ of the opposition party. He has been a media darling in his young political career. He is often described as an articulate man.

But the media reaction to his speech on Tuesday was less than enthusiastic. Some of the terms used to define it were “teeth-grindingly awful” and “simplistic and almost childish.”

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Posted in: Politics