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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 7, 2009 / 18 Elul 5769

Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job

By Byron York




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama's health care speech on Wednesday will mark the first time he has asked the leaders of the House and Senate for the opportunity to make a special address to a joint session of Congress. And if the president truly is as politically savvy as his White House staff believes, he won't do it again anytime soon.

Putting aside the State of the Union address, which is a scheduled annual event, it's rare for a president to speak before a joint session of House and Senate.

George W. Bush did it just once, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Bill Clinton also did it just once, when he made an appeal for his national health care plan in September 1993. George H.W. Bush gave just one joint address as well, after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, leading to the first Gulf War.

The protocol of these events is that the president decides he wants to address Congress, sends a request, and Congress says yes; as far as anyone can tell, they've never turned a chief executive down. "I've never heard of an example of that," one Senate historian told me. "That's a courtesy that's always extended to the president."

But when a president makes such a rare request, he's sending a clear message that there is an emergency, or at least an urgent issue, that must be addressed in the most solemn national forum. Both Bushes spoke in a time of war, as did Richard Nixon during Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson addressed a joint session after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Is Obamacare such an issue? Hardly. So it will be the president's job to convince the public that the need to pass a national health care bill is so urgent that it ranks alongside war and other national emergencies.

It can't be done. No matter what Obama says on Wednesday, the audience will see the speech for what it is: A president speaking not as the nation's leader in time of crisis but rather as a salesman pushing a troubled product.

Sales jobs are the least successful joint addresses. Clinton's didn't work. And it hasn't been pointed out very often, but the president in the last half-century who used the joint session format the most was the one who got the least done: Jimmy Carter.

Carter gave three such addresses in his four years in office. (Ronald Reagan also gave three, but over eight years in the White House.) Carter began with a 1977 address on the energy crisis, which was, in fact, a crisis, but Carter didn't know what to do about it. He looked more lost than leader.

The White House believes Obama will fare better. Although his image as a great communicator has taken some hits after a string of unimpressive performances in non-teleprompter situations, the joint session speech will be in Obama's best format: a carefully scripted presentation in a dramatic venue.

So it's a sure bet the president will turn in a polished performance. His problem is that substance matters more than style. At this point, after a month of town halls and, most importantly, after the details of the various Democratic health care proposals have become known, Obamacare is damaged goods. The president could give the best speech of his life and still not convince the public that H.R. 3200, the grotesquely flawed House Democratic bill, would be a good thing for American health care.

So on Wednesday the White House, supposedly quite proficient in the communications department, will put the president in the wrong setting to sell the wrong product.

In January 1989, Ronald Reagan gave his last address to the American people. (He spoke from the Oval Office, not the Capitol.) In the speech, Reagan reflected on his image as a great communicator. "I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference; it was the content," Reagan said. "I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things."

Reagan went on to explain that those great things "didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation - from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries."

That's what people look for in a speech as momentous as an address to a joint session of Congress. And that's why Barack Obama, no matter his talents, will not succeed on Wednesday.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Byron York's column by clicking here.


Previously:



09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture’ probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the ‘Axis of Evil’ today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny



© 2009, NEA

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