What to look for in Obama’s Iraq Speech

An earlier version of this post was published August 30, 2010 @ American Thinker
This post has been revised from that version


Tomorrow evening President Obama will give a speech about the end of combat operations in Iraq. He will visit Fort Bliss before returning to Washington DC for his prime time address to the nation. After listening to Obama speak on several occasions, I’ve come up with a check list of a few items to look for when listening to the President tomorrow evening.


President Obama will use the phrase “let me be clear”, this is followed by policies that aren’t clear, and often don’t make sense. We heard this phrase time and again prior to the Obama Care being passed. The bill was so clear that fellow democrat Nancy Pelosi famously said “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in the bill”. How’s that for clarity?


During the speech, President Obama will refer to some mystery opponents using a phrase like “there are those that say . . . “. Until that point, no one else will have heard such arguments, but the dinosaur press will be all to happy to use the description to caricature any opponent of Obama’s policies. A perfect example of this type of straw man is the assertion that the building of the “Cordoba House” is a constitutional issue. No one was arguing the legality of building the structure, but the left of center media amplified the President’s remarks and attempted to use it to smear opponents. The media was caught in their duplicity by the Glenn Beck rally and the calls for it to be stopped on grounds of “propriety”, not legal rights. How ironic.


Expect the President to try to take full credit for any success in Iraq and pin all failures on the previous administration. If his teleprompter is really on fire, you will think that the “surge” was his idea. Candidate Obama wasn’t just anti-war, he repeatedly said that ending the war in Iraq would be a top priority as President. He was vehemently against the surge, explicitly saying that it would fail. Based on previous commentary, we don’t expect the President to mention this fact, or admit that he was wrong. This speech is as much about appeasing his disappointed leftist base and proving to them that he delivered on his anti-war rhetoric, as it is celebrating US accomplishments.


Almost every American wants our troops to come home victorious and President Obama will capitalize on that sentiment tomorrow night. It’s worth reminding folks that, Obama was one of those Americans who wanted to bring troops home regardless of victory. No amount of kind words and clever phrases will change that fact, but he still bay get a boost in the polls the morning after his speech. When one examines the mess our economy is in, or the stubborn refusal to acknowledge that the surge worked, you realize that President Obama has made his share of mistakes. Ironically, one of Obama’s other favorite phrases is “make no mistake”, look for it tomorrow night.


President Obama’s poll numbers are not good. The Democrats chances during the mid term election are widely viewed as poor, really poor, or non existent. Look for the President to use this speech as a spring board to try and kickstart Democratic congressional campaigns. Regardless of his failures, the President knows how to campaign. He was clever at convincing people he was something (a moderate healer) that he wasn’t. Look for that type of cleverness in this speech as well.


Now is the time for the opposition to ratchet up their campaigns, not rest on their laurels. The best strategy for opponents of big government is to remind voters what Democrats have actually done, not what Obama says they have accomplished. After all, those are two different things entirely.


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