Obama and “Oh God”

OK. Things are looking up. I ran outside this morning. At 5 a.m. in NE Ohio clear sky, temp in low 20s, light breeze. Perfect. And I read online before hitting the concrete that Tiger Woods returns to the golf tour tomorrow in Arizona. Hey, we’re back on the upswing. Groan.

And I even managed to stay awake through most of Obama’s talk to Congress last night. Glad I did. Obama is Communicator in Chief — and, at least in my opinion, he struck the correct balance last night between candid, realistic and truthful disclosure and remarks designed to provide reassurance, confidence and, yes, some hope.

We are not quitters.”

I think that says it all. We’re not. Not as individuals. Not as a nation.

Now continues the hard part. As those of us living in the land of public relations and related venues know only too well words don’t change reality — actions do. The actions under way now as part of the stimulus package and other measures that are being implemented by federal, state and local governments will take time.

And businesses — big and small — at some point are going to have to jump in and display some hope and confidence as well. People need work and jobs. And hiring in substantial numbers is the only thing that will ultimately turn this economic meltdown around.

For instance, there is an incentive tax credit in the economic stimulus package. The idea is to give businesses more of an incentive to hire disconnected young people and give them the opportunity to succeed. I’m familiar with this tax incentive because of the work I am doing these days with Corporate Voices for Working Families. So we’ll see. Actions matter now.

And then full disclosure. I was well into the land of sweet dreams before Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jinal gave the Republican response — and was greeted, apparently, on MSNBC, with the intro: “Oh God.” (Actually, thought those words would be reserved for what you would think at some point would be the inevitable Sarah Palin Playboy pictorial. I digress.)

So I can’t opine on Jindal’s remarks. And as we all know, whether you agree or disagree with the speaker before the talk makes a world of difference about how you feel at the end. And with all due respect to Bobby Kennedy, nobody named Bobby is ever going to be elected president in this country. As I mentioned previously, there are too many Roberts, like me, who have fought a lifelong jihad against being called Bob or Bobby. Good grief.

And while talking about Louisiana, here’s a story I’m going to keep a close eye on.

Porn star Stormy Daniels is considering a run in 2010 against Republican Senator David Vitter. Vitter, you may recall, is one of the family-values guys who managed to get hooked up in a D.C. prostitution scandal while admitting to “a very serious sin.”

Hope this doesn’t screw up the Sarah Palin thing.

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