The president's poll numbers are better Monday. He got a nice bounce from the State of the Union address last week.
According to Rasmussen, 35 percent of Americans now strongly approve of Mr. Obama's job performance, while 39 percent strongly disapprove. A big improvement for the president.
Mr. Obama did a smart thing last week. He said he wants to work with the Republican Party for the good of the folks. He also said he's not an ideologue. Some people believe that; some people don't.
My beef is not with Mr. Obama's posture towards the GOP. I think both parties play far too many play political games. No, my concern is the gulf between the president and you, the folks.
Three examples. First, on Friday, the Obama administration announced it may not try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other Al Qaeda thugs here in New York City. Of course, there was no reason to run up hundreds of millions of dollars in expense when those killers could have handled by the military. In fact, 44 percent of Americans believe the Al Qaeda should be tried in Guantanamo Bay, an astounding number considering all the controversy. So why did it take months for the White House to figure this deal out? Excellent question.
Second, health care. Americans simply don't understand the bill. More than 2,000 pages. And the president doesn't understand it either because he couldn't explain it in 29 speeches. So you would think he would simplify matters if he wants Republican support, that he would put in legislation to stop frivolous lawsuits against medical people and to allow insurance companies to compete nationwide. I mean, why not do that? That's what the Republicans want, and it seems to make sense. There's no downside to tort reform and increased insurance competition. So the folks are skeptical.
And third, some right-wingers condemn President Obama for the trillion-dollar stimulus package, but "Talking Points" thinks that's unfair. There is no question the economy could have collapsed in 2009. It was very possible that the financial system would simply melt down. So the feds had to pour money in to prop up the financial institutions. I said this from day one, and I got hammered from the right for that, but I was right.
However, there is more than $500 billion still left in federal stimulus money. It's just sitting there. President Obama should put the money back into the Treasury. We don't need it now. There's no threat of collapse anymore, and paying down the $13 trillion debt with stimulus money would send a positive message to the world about the U.S. economy.
Read my lips: More federal economic stimulus is not needed. The system will work itself out.
Those three examples are common sense. If the president embraces them, his bond with the folks, you, should grow.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
The Grammys show Sunday night was pretty interesting. We admired this song from the Zac Brown Band.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC: ZAC BROWN BAND, "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL")
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Excellent. While some in the audience were confused, because there was no rapping, we believe the band are patriots.
On the pinhead front, Elton John and Lady Gaga, who we absolutely love, opened the Grammy telecast.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(MUSIC: ELTON JOHN AND LADY GAGA, "YOUR SONG")
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now why those people had dirt on their faces remains unclear. You can decide if they're pinheads or simply trolling for a soap endorsement.