William McGurn writes on President Obama's conundrum of having to deliver a big job speech without having anything to say. Noman expects nothing more than the usual bloviating about investments (spending), railing at those too selfish to pay their fair share (taxes), exhortations to rise above partisanship (as he pursue partisanship), etc. Noman would be shocked were the President to do anything but posture, cajole, lecture and protest he's the only adult in DC. He doesn't seem to have much imagination. He just keeps lining up for the snap and calling the off-tackle dive that worked so well for Democrats when Nancy Pelosi controlled the House. His economic nostrums are hackneyed and stale, which is why the economy doesn't hum for his administration. Yet, he keeps running the same play, and blaming the fans for not cheering.
McGurn comments on the fading spell of the President's words as the Toto of economic reality pulls aside the curtain to reveal the charlatan pulling the levers.
In music there's a saying about a performance that was "too small for the house." That's becoming true of the president. There was a day when Mr. Obama's taste for the marvelous—a campaign address in Berlin, the faux presidential seal, the Greek columns that surrounded him during his speech accepting the Democratic nomination—all seemed to herald something exciting and historic.Even inside the Beltway, however, substance ultimately tells. Three years into his presidency, the grander the stage the smaller Mr. Obama comes across.Noman confesses that he finds the President's frequent perorations on matters of consequence to be a major disappointment, a study in fraud that the country can ill afford. There is only one thing he could say tomorrow to lift the economy's spirits: that the government will get out of the economy-managing business, quit nudging, quit redistributing, quit angling for a VAT tax, quit trying to expand the size and scope of government, quit trying to capture every revenue spigot and turn it towards DC and state capitols, quit trying to micro-manage the economic endeavors of spontaneous actors, and that his Administration is turning the nation's economic protagonism back over to the millions of private actors in whose hands the initiative rightly belongs, and growth depends. Don't count on it.