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Obama tells us cope, hope, pain, gain. Burris seemingly snubbed by Obama


WASHINGTON -- Cope, then hope. "We will recover," President Obama told us.

Five weeks to the day after becoming the 44th president, Obama, in his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, outlined in various ways what we know or should know by now. The economy is bad and likely getting worse.

As I listened to Obama's speech, the metaphor that came to mind was a roller coaster, one that plunged down and crept up.

Each time I despaired for the future -- as a reasonable person is entitled to at this point because of the lousy economy -- Obama said things have a good chance of working out.

"We'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama said.

Most of Obama's speech was focused on the economy and associated domestic issues. Since taking office, most of Obama's attention has been on saving the nation's banking, housing and auto industries.

"The impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere," he said.

After detailing how we got to this miserable point -- government failed, we the people did not act responsibly (Hey! Some of us did!), we are paying the price for taking short-term gains over what Obama called "long-term prosperity."

Obama asked the nation to have faith in his massive economic recovery plan, and touted Vice President Joe Biden as the sheriff who will make sure that the money does not go down the drain with waste, fraud and abuse. "Nobody messes with Joe."

Energy, health care and education will be the areas Obama invests the most in when he unveils his proposed budget later this week. He said it will cost taxpayers even more to bail out the banking system. But as he did throughout the speech, every time he outlined the tough times ahead -- Obama pulled back up.

Said Obama, "Surely, confidence will return and our economy will recover."

After the speech, Obama went around shaking hands. When Obama came near the area when embattled Sen. Roland Burris was standing -- alone at this point and looking a little forelorn -- Burris waved at him a few times.

Obama appeared not to respond. And the president certainly did not reach out. I don't know if this qualifies as a snub, but it was a brutal reminder of the tough time Burris has ahead now that he has decided not to resign in the wake of controversies stemming from his appointment by ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.


A bravura performance, delivered by a masterful speaker, whose vision and aims are encouraging. After a month of feeling terrible, my President gave me what I most needed, and that was an inspired enthusiasm to assist others...the necessity to be patient...and, a conviction that our country will rally, stronger and more enlightened, by this challenge. Mr. Obama has stepped-forward as a gifted and thoroughly prepared Commander-in-Chief, of the entire nation. As a result, I am delighted to "enlist", and to follow his lead...FORWARD. It was, doubtless, one of the best speeches ever delivered in that Chamber, and I cannot recall being more proud and enthused, than I was last night.

Give me a break; Obama has some nerve; he is just as crocked as the rest of them; he just has not been caught, yet. How do you think he got into office; Rush Limbaugh is right about him. I know we should give him a chance; and God knows he is riding a free ride because of his color and no one wants to douce him. Time will tell, there is an old saying, if you spit at the ceiling-it will come down to the tip of your nose. Enough said.

Platitudes, racism, obligatory God-mention ...And you had to bring up Limbaugh, rmp. Strong case you're making for yourself.

It's up to you to decide to like the man, or the color of his skin, but why don't you try harder to build a case for the rest of us?

what's new? the oba never waved at his old state senate district either. look at it. can't wait for one term to end so he can move north.

Look. If this were a perfect world, Roland Burris would not be sitting in the U.S. Senate right now. I agree. I certainly would not have voted for him, and might not vote for him next year.

But at the core, I think Sen. Burris is absolutely right: He's done nothing wrong. He was an honest politician (or at least, more honest than you're likely to find in Illinois), nearing the end of a lifetime of service to his state, and was offered one of the best gigs in politics anywhere. Of course he took the job; what long time state-level politico wouldn't? Durbin is just fooling himself if he thinks, under similar circumstance, he wouldn't have taken the job. And so, I think, are 99% of those who are now clamoring for him to resign.

And to give him the cold shoulder, treat him like a pariah, and otherwise snub him like the Democrats currently are, is just disgraceful. For both the Democrats and the U.S. Senate.

The Democrats constantly whine that we should respect the office if not the man. Well Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, and the Democratic Leadership: Respect the office of the Junior Senator from Illinois! Until such time as he is no longer Senator, Roland Burris is that man and should be afforded all the respect.

"...and God knows he is riding a free ride because of his color..."

Are you on crack? Rush, Hannity, Boehner, Jindal, Steele, FOX... Obama is not getting a free ride and guess what, HE DOES NOT NEED ONE. All of Obama' critics will be made to feel like fools after his 8 years are up. In fact, he will do such a good job that we may elect another Black President in 2016...ever hear of Harold Ford Jr.?

President Obama performed brilliantly and gave an inspired speech.Why these ditto head followers of Limbaugh insist on playing the race card in reverse , i will never understand. When Obama was addressing congress and the nation, we didn`t see a black man, we saw a leader.

Every day Roland Burris remains Senator is a step backward for the people of Illinois and the United States. Senator Burris, please go away. You're a buffoon and a disgrace to everyone.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 25, 2009 12:03 AM.

Obama's speech before Joint Session of Congress. Feb. 24, 2009. Text as delivered. was the previous entry in this blog.

Burris digging in as Durbin gives push to go is the next entry in this blog.

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