GOP: "We Need Plans, Not Speeches." Obama: "I Think I Heard You Say 'Speeches'?"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 25 2011 4:49 PM

GOP: "We Need Plans, Not Speeches." Obama: "I Think I Heard You Say 'Speeches'?"

The president will address the nation tonight about the debt limit debate, speaking at 9 p.m. eastern time. The ostensible topic is the "stalemate," which is odd, because as far as we knew the White House backed the Reid plan.

There is a version of an Obama speech that could take advantage of the slowly shifting poll numbers on the debt limit -- the slow creep up in people who think it has to be raised. He could take a page from Ross Perot and use charts -- like these! -- to explain the extremely confusing problem. He could use more to explain the confusing solutions. He could use more charts to explain the plans, and aspects of them like the strict version of the balanced budget amendment in Cut, Cap, and Balance, the importance of restoring higher tax rates, some frank talk about loopholes that goes beyond "private jets."

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Who's betting he makes that speech?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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