Here are the pre-State of the Union talking points disseminated by the White House to its surrogates yesterday:
Topline Points: Pre-State of the Union
**Not for Distribution**
Rescue, Rebuild and Restore
· President Obama took office a year ago amid an array of challenges unparalleled in our lifetime.
o Our economy was in freefall – gripped by the deepest downturn since the Great Depression and teetering on the edge of an even greater collapse.
o Job losses of more than 700,000-a-month compounded an ongoing assault on the Middle Class: a decade of stagnant wages, the impact of plummeting home values and the ever-rising costs of health insurance and educating their kids.
o A $1.3 trillion budget deficit, two wars and badly frayed global alliances also greeted the President at the door.
· Faced with daunting challenges, Obama took strong and politically-difficult steps to rescue the country from a potential Second Great Depression; to rebuild the economy for the long-term, so businesses are thriving, the Middle Class is growing and all our families are more secure; and to restore America’s leadership in the world, as we wrestle with the global challenges of the 21st Century.
· Within one month of his inaugural, President Obama had shepherded the most far-reaching economic recovery plan in American history. It has brought our economy back from the brink of a second Great Depression and, one year later, we are beginning to see signs of progress.
o Job losses, while still too high have fallen to a tenth of where they were a year ago and the economy is growing for the first time in two years.
· The President also began the work to rebuild the economy for the long-term by laying a New Foundation for growth and prosperity – a prosperity that is focused on working families, small business owners and the economic competitiveness of our nation.
· Under President Obama’s leadership, we have begun to confront challenges that Washington has ignored for decades and enact reforms meant to strengthen families, small businesses, and American economic competitiveness that lobbyists and special interests have worked to prevent time and again.
o We are closer than ever on real health reform, we’re moving toward a clean energy economy, we’ve taken on the big banks and special interests to reform outdated and lax financial rules, and we’ve initiated far-reaching education reforms to demand excellence in K-12 and make college more accessible and affordable.
· President Obama has also signed historic legislation – from extending unemployment benefits to expanding health insurance for children to ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work – that, for decades to come, will improve and strengthen the lives of everyday Americans and working families throughout the country.
· On issues large and small, the President has worked to rebuild the economy on a New Foundation so that middle class families, and those who aspire to the middle class, can enjoy the prosperity and economic well-being enjoyed by the special interests, the very wealthy and the well-connected.
· He’s matched this leadership and advocacy for the American people by standing up to those very special interests and by beginning to change the way business is done in Washington by making government more accountable, accessible and transparent to all Americans.
o For the first time ever, every visitor to the White House – what they’re doing and who they’re meeting with – will be made public
o And we’ve limited the influence of lobbyists in government by preventing executive branch employees from receiving gifts from lobbyists, by prohibiting administration officials from lobbying the government for two years after they leave public service, and by removing lobbyists from government boards and commissions.
· As he’s worked to rescue the economy and rebuild it on a new foundation that will promote growth and prosperity for all Americans, President Obama has begun the hard work required to restore America’s standing and leadership in the world.
o He’s enhanced American safety and security by beginning the responsible drawdown of American combat troops in Iraq. Working with our allies, he’s refocused the fight against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan while bolstering our relationship with Pakistan.
o He’s also engaged our partners throughout the world to combat extremism, begun to rebuild frayed alliances, and reasserted American leadership on issues like climate and energy, financial recovery, public health and hunger
· After one momentous year in office, President Obama has governed as he said he would, making tough decisions instead of deferring them, thinking about the long-term well-being of the country and not just his own, short-term politics.
· On a whole range of issues, President Obama has remained faithful to the central commitments of his campaign and he has begun to deliver changes that the American people expect and deserve.
This seems to me a pretty comprehensive compendium of Obama administration stretchers and prevarications, but it is probably a reliable preview of what the president has in store tonight.