I'd call what he delivered an incomplete pass.
"The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy," President Obama said.
He says "we," but what the president really means is "them"--congressional republicans.
He conceded he really didn't have much new tonight:
"This approach is basically the one I've been advocating for months," the president said.
He's calling his approach the American Jobs Act...a 450 billion dollar combination of tax cuts and spending, with 250 billion for tax relief.
The money would go to businesses and workers, and would also fund public works projects and help stressed state budgets.
"There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that's been supported by both Democrats and Republicans - including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything," the president said.
But tonight the president didn't say "how," so once again we have to wait:
"A week from Monday, I'll be releasing a more ambitious deficit plan--a plan that will not only cover the cost of this jobs bill, but stabilize our debt in the long run."
The president gave this speech to congress to help pressure legislators to support him.
But it sounded like a campaign speech, particularly when the president promised to rally voters to his side if congress doesn't agree with him:
"You should pass it. And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country," he said.
The president has always had a way with words; his eloquence helped elect him.
Tonight, unfortunately, just words were just not enough.
You can hope, but I don't expect they'll change much.
That's my instinct.
(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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