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Arianna Huffington down on Obama's 'magical thinking' about speeches

Ahead of President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday, some unexpected criticism from Huffington Post founder and publisher Arianna Huffington. She writes on her own website today that it shouldn't be "news" that Obama plans to address jobs in his remarks:

[T]alk about jobs has gone up each year. But significant action hasn't followed. And yet each year it's somehow news that the president will talk about jobs or unveil some new rhetorical angle on the economy (one "built to last," one that will "win the future," one that shows how we "do big things"). Maybe the reason it's news each year is actually because there's so little action in between the speeches. ...

It's an example of Obama's -- and our -- magical thinking about big ceremonial speeches. Yes, they can be important in setting an agenda and letting the country know what the White House's priorities are. But only if that's really the agenda and those are really the priorities. More often, instead of a kind of tent pole undergirding and anchoring an agenda until the next one can be put down, it has increasingly become a not very meaningful night of kabuki theater.

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