Thursday, January 22, 2004

Now What: Looks like I didn't miss anything by skipping Bush's big speech Tuesday. From what I read in newspapers, in conservative and liberal commentary, and from blogs, Bush didn't say anything.

The State of the Union has always been a huge platform for the president to set out broad goals and lay out his vision for the next year. Apparently Bush did little of that, choosing instead to defend his past three years in office.

It's not enough to say, "I've done good as president." If you want to be re-elected, tell me what good you're going to do.

Don't get me wrong -- providing extra support for community colleges to offer job training and extended education is a great idea. But a president is supposed to offer more. I don't think steroids in baseball count as a national security issue.

What's the next step in fighting the war on terrorism? What military action will we need to take? Where are the current threats? And he needs to tell us how he plans to cut spending to reduce the federal deficit.

In the past, Bush has offered a strong vision of taking the fight to the terrorists and democratizing the Middle East. While I'm confident he will continue to seek to achieve that vision, he needs to make the case for why we should support him each step of the way.

He's had a successful first term as president: responding to terrorist threats, liberating two countries that harbored terrorists and oppressed their own people, and stimulating the economy with tax cuts after inheriting a recession.

Now it's time for him to persuade me why I should give him a second term.


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