Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Democratic National Committee: The Reviews are in: President Obama's 'Hopeful' and 'Uplifting' Speech 'Will Really Galvanize' People

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tonight, President Obama laid out his comprehensive vision for addressing the challenges our nation faces, from the economy to energy independence to health care reform, education, and laying the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st Century. As he addressed those challenges, he reminded Americans of the boldness and courage our nation must now summon as we have throughout our history saying, "We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before."

The early reviews are in, and a bipartisan group of commentators are praising the President's speech as an "ambitious," "hopeful" and "uplifting" performance that "will really galvanize" people. According to early polling results, the speech resonated with the American people too - more Americans support the President's economic recovery plans after watching the speech.

The following are samples of the early reviews:

CBS Poll: 79% Approve of Plans for Economic Crisis After Speech. CBS News Conducted a Poll of 500 respondents during the speech and they found that before the speech 62% of respondents approved of the President's plans for the Economic Crisis. After the speech the number rose to 79%. [CBS News Special Report, 2/24/09: 5.shtml?tag=centerColumn;centerColumnContent]

CBS Poll: 69% Understand President's Economic Plans; Up From 56% Before Speech. CBS News Conducted a Poll of 500 respondents during the speech and they found that before the speech 56% of the respondents believed they understood the President's plans for the Economic Crisis. After the speech the number rose to 69%. [CBS News Special Report, 2/24/09: 5.shtml?tag=centerColumn;centerColumnContent]

David Brooks: This "Was An Excellent Speech" That "Perfectly Captured The Tenor Of The Country." "I thought it was an excellent speech. It's been a long time since I've really been able to rave over an Obama speech, but I thought this was a speech that perfectly captured the tenor of the country." [PBS, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

Brooks: Speech Was "Outstanding," Hits "Exactly The Right Tone," and "Will Really Galvanize People." "The essential message was 'no more fooling around,' and I thought that was exactly the right tone to take...So just as a speech, as an explanation, 'here's what I'm going to do,' I thought it was outstanding. It will really galvanize people." [PBS, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

Howard Fineman: President Obama Earned "Great Applause" and Respect from Republicans and Democrats Alike. The President "I think won great applause, that's a measure of respect, not only from Democrats, but most of the Republicans in that room who realize sitting in that chamber what a political talent they are dealing with." [MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 2/24/09]

Fineman: "The Best Budget Speech Anyone Ever Gave." "This was the best darn budget speech that anyone ever gave because he gave it a sense of lift and drive and competence. The guy just has an ability to exude a sense of confidence in very tough circumstances." [MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 2/24/09]

CNN's Dana Bash: "More Of A Bipartisan Tone" In The Chamber During President's Speech Than Past Eight Years. "I was also in the chamber, Anderson, during the president's speech and certainly as opposed to what we saw for the past eight years, particularly the past couple years with President Bush, there definitely was more of a bipartisan tone in terms of the kind of reaction he got." [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

CNN's David Gergen: President's Speech Was "Most Ambitious... We've Heard In This Chamber In Decades." "This was the most ambitious president we've heard in this chamber in decades. The first half of the speech was FDR fighting for the New Deal. The second half was Lyndon Johnson fighting for the Great Society and we have never seen those two presidents rolled together in quite this way before." [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

Associated Press: Obama "Used Address to Tap the Deep Well of American Optimism..." that "Great Presidents Embody." "The president used his address to Congress on Tuesday night to tap the deep well of American optimism -- the never-say-die national spirit that every president tries to capture in words. And great presidents embody...The themes of responsibility, accountability and, above all, national community rang throughout an address carefully balanced by the gravity of its times."[Associated Press, 2/24/09:]

Fox News' Major Garret: President's Speech is Bi-Partisan: "Well I think what we're seeing right there playing out there on the floor of the House of Representatives is that continued efforts at bipartisan outreach, and that will be, going on, be a consistent quality for this President even when Republicans don't respond in-kind because the White House believes politically it puts the President in a very safe, very productive frame of mind in relationship with the broader American public." [Fox News, 2/24/09]

Newsweek's Howard Fineman: President Gave A "Commanding" Performance. "That was as commanding performance, as confident a performance, as in control as I've ever seen a President." [MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 2/24/09]

CBS News' Jeff Greenfield "One of The Most Effective Uses" of the Medium. "It reminded in some sense of the radio speeches FDR gave where he talked about complicated issues in a simple way... I have to say it was one of the most effective uses of this wonderful imposing scene, the Congress. To talk not to the Congress, there was no ten-point plan. Here's where we are and this is how I am going to get you out." [CBS News Special Report, 2/24/09] "Obama Puts Forth Ambitious Agenda in Speech." "In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama outlined an ambitious agenda to revive the economy, saying it's time to act boldly 'to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.' President Obama says the United States will overcome its current economic struggles. Obama focused on the three priorities of the budget he will present to Congress later this week: energy, health care and education." [, 2/24/09]

NBC News' Chuck Todd: Speech "Hopeful, Uplifting." "I think this idea that somehow [President Obama] had not been talking hopeful enough about the situation, I have a feeling that President Clinton isn't going to be criticizing him, particularly for that last I'd say ten minutes of the speech where it was all hopeful. It was all uplifting. It was as somebody had said to me, the last part of this speech, you're going to recognize it, is Obama-esque, and I think that it's not hard to look at that last part of the speech and saying he wasn't being hopeful and talking up about the economy." [NBC, Nightly News with Brian Williams, 2/24/09]

ABC News: President "Greeted With Thunderous Applause;" Speech Earned "Standing Ovation From Both Democrats And Republicans." "Obama was greeted with thunderous applause in the House chamber, as lawmakers reached out to try and get a handshake or in some cases a kiss as the president made his way down the narrow aisle to the podium. Obama is enjoying a 68 percent approval rating after his first month in office, according to the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll, and his pledge to reverse the nation's economic woes earned him an early standing ovation from both Democrats and Republicans." [ABC News, 2/24/09,]

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin: Speech "Obama's Best Moment Yet." "I give him an A." ['s Political Ticker, Jeffrey Toobin, 2/24/09]

Keith Olbermann: Speech a "Resounding Debut." "Repeatedly inspiring members of both parties to rise to their feet in the House Chamber, the 44th President of the United States with a resounding debut at that the highest stage, thus far, of his presidency." [MSNBC, Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: Speech Received High Rankings from McCain and Obama Voters in Focus Groups. Maddow noted that both McCain and Obama voters on MSNBC's audience reaction "stayed up at the top the entire speech essentially." [MSNBC, Coverage of Presidential Address, 2/24/09]

CNN's Anderson Cooper: Calls President's Address "Highly Ambitious." "President Obama just finished his first address to a joint session of congress -- highly ambitious, mixing policy, pep talk, progress report on the economy. Saying America's best days are ahead of it..." [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 2/24/09]

Washington Post: "A Note of Hope at a Time of Crisis." "Five weeks into an administration already marked by dramatic highs and lows, President Obama sounded a note of hope at a time of crisis tonight, delivering an address to a joint session of Congress heavily focused on the ailing economy and how to fix it. Offering the prospect of a brighter future after weeks of grim rhetoric, Obama sought to put a human face on complex policy proposals. He linked his banking rescue proposal to the ability of a 'young family' to 'finally buy a home.' And he acknowledged populist anger at the prospect of more Wall Street bailouts, vowing to crack down on CEO bonuses and conduct tough oversight of the hundreds of billions of dollars already pledged to address the economic crisis." [Washington Post, Ben Pershing, 2/24/09]

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