Earlier today, President Barack Obama took the oath of office in front of a crowd of hundreds of thousands of individuals and the full attention of the country’s media. And, while touting the importance of the American democracy, Mr. Obama also used the occasion to promote some of his policy goals for next four years.
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Mr. Obama said, for example, according to his prepared remarks. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.”
One of the most hotly anticipated elements of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s annual State of the State address today was his plan to enact “sweeping” gun control reforms in New York. In his speech, the governor outlined a seven-point gun control plan focused on “high-capacity assault rifles” that he promised would be one of the “toughest” in the nation and lead similar laws to spread beyond New York.
“Gun violence has been on a rampage as we know firsthand and as we know painfully,” said the governor. “We must stop the madness, my friends. In one word, it’s just ‘enough.’ It has been enough. We need a gun policy in this state that is reasonable, that is balanced, that is measured.”
The governor continued by saying his gun control proposals are not about “taking away people’s guns.”
Mitt Romney, unsuccessful in his second quest for the White House in four years, took a gracious exit in his concession speech tonight.
“I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign all deserve congratulations,” Mr. Romney said to begin his address. “This is a time of great challenge for America and I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”
As President Barack Obama prepares to give one of the most important speeches left in his political career at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, his reelection campaign has released excerpts of the address he’s delivering later tonight.
And step aside all of the other modern presidential election contests, Mr. Obama unsurprisingly plans to announce that this election will be the most important one yet.
“But when all is said and done – when you pick up that ballot to vote – you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come,” Mr. Obama says in his prepared remarks.
the road to the white house
Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo took a rare foray outside of the Empire State to pay his partisan dues at the Democratic National Convention. His speech, which he oddly did not deliver in the convention hall itself despite Mr. Cuomo’s status as a large-state governor with astronomical approval ratings, indeed let his Democratic flag fly, blasting the Republican Party, Paul Ryan and the whole nine yards.
Both the local and national media, which have taken a strong interest in Mr. Cuomo as a top-tier contender for the White House after President Barack Obama leaves in 2016, understandably tended to frame his speech today in those terms. You can view a healthy sampling of the reviews below:
Move aside Paul Ryan, it looks like even the most widely-praised of speeches can be called out a few times.
To wit, Matt Apuzzo, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press reporter, took a thorough look at former President Bill Clinton’s fiery address last night and said certain segments were “wishful thinking at best” and “either cherry-picked facts or mischaracterized” the Republican position. The wire service even brought up Mr. Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal and compared that to him calling out Mitt Romney’s campaign for its own lack of honesty.
Don't Believe The Hype
CHARLOTTE, NC — Rumored drama and tension between former President Bill Clinton and the Obama administration has long been an object of fascination among the country’s political chattering classes, so much so that Mr. Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention tonight was widely hyped as a potential obstacle for the Obama campaign. However, despite reports the Obama campaign didn’t see the text of Mr. Clinton’s remarks and feared he might wander off message, the DNC distributed advance copies of Mr. Clinton’s speech and, though he made many ad libs, Mr. Clinton effusively praised the President and aggressively attacked Mitt Romney’s positions on healthcare, debt reduction and job creation.
Early on in his speech, Mr. Clinton directly addressed the source of reports of his strained relationship with Mr. Obama–fallout from the 2008 Democratic primary between Mr. Obama and his wife, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Clinton dismissed the idea there was any lingering ill will from that race by pointing out President Obama appointed Ms. Clinton and several of her supporters to positions in his administration.
“President Obama appointed several members of his cabinet, even though they supported Hillary in the primary,” he said to thunderous applause from the audience. “Heck, he even appointed Hillary!”
chuck weighs in
CHARLOTTE, NC — In his speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention, New York Senator Chuck Schumer discussed why he believes “Mitt Romney’s plans would make things worse” for the economy.
He began by reminiscing about his family–and their attachment to roach spray.
“I stand here tonight as a proud son of the great state of New York! I’m also a proud product of the middle class,” Mr. Schumer said in a prepared copy of his remarks distributed by the convention staff. “My father, Abe, was a small businessman. For 32 years, he ran an exterminating company. That may explain why our family always associated the smell of roach spray with love.”
Last night, First Lady Michelle Obama gave a speech that received some raving reviews, and Staten Island Republican Rep. Michael Grimm wants everyone to know that he also approved of the speech. Thus, late last night, he released a relatively long statement giving the speech itself high marks but also pivoting to a more critical point in each paragraph.
“No one can deny that the First Lady delivered an excellent heartfelt speech and delivered for the Democratic party. I myself was extremely pleased to hear that Mrs. Obama’s experience as the First Lady has enhanced her pride in and understanding of the greatest most exceptional nation in the world,” he began, for example, before switching to a backhanded compliment. “She has come a long way from her statement after the 2008 election that for the first time in her life she was proud to be American.”
Queens State Senator Tony Avella, often known to speak his mind, wrote a letter to the editor of his local Patch publication highly critical of the “new fad we are witnessing is the multitude of ‘State of the State’ and ‘State of the City’ addresses.”
“I am writing to voice my disdain with what I see as a new fad being used as a self-promotional tool amongst politicians who, quite often, are seeking higher office throughout this city and state,” Mr. Avella began, explaining while he has “no problem with the governor, mayors and heads of municipalities” giving addresses, he is concerned with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, and the various Borough Presidents all needing to give speeches of their own.