The New Face of Obama

President Obama never ceases to amaze. The most deliberately anti-business, anti-capitalist President this country has ever seen will now begin his new role as a friend of the private sector, and will pretend that he’s been working on the same team as them all along. The new Obama was unveiled today at his speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As he gears up for his reelection campaign, his image is starting to morph into what the L.A. Times has termed, “Obama 2.0″ His desperate attempt to move to the middle in an effort to gain independent votes is hardly fooling anyone on the right, and it is angering those on the left for “meeting with the biggest lobbyists in the country,” says Erica Payne of the liberal Agenda Project.

Obama has faced a great deal of public conflict with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during his first (and Lord willing his only) term. The President made the accusation that The Chamber is funded by foreign donors and he openly criticized The Chamber for opposing him over issues of financial reform.

In true Obama form, he assured The Chamber that he understands how some might actually dare to run profitable businesses, he gets that they may even be cautious in the middle of a tanking economy. Then expressed what he sees as the obligation of private business to him, and to America:

“Now, I understand the challenges you face. I understand that you’re under incredible pressure to cut costs and keep your margins up. I understand the significance of your obligations to your shareholders. I get it. But as we work with you to make America a better place to do business, ask yourselves what you can do for America. Ask yourselves what you can do to hire American workers, to support the American economy, and to invest in this nation. That’s what I want to talk about today – the responsibilities we all have to secure the future we all share.”

Then, the new Obama took center stage as the champion of business in America. Let’s look at some select quotes:

  • “America’s success didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen by accident. It happened because [of] the freedom that has allowed good ideas to flourish, that has allowed capitalism to thrive; it happened because of the conviction that in this country hard work should be rewarded and that opportunity should be there for anybody who’s willing to reach for it.”
  • “That’s the challenge that we face today. We still have, by far, the world’s largest and most vibrant economy. We have the most productive workers, the finest universities and the freest markets. The men and women in this room are living testimony that American industry is still the source of the most dynamic companies, and the most ingenious entrepreneurs.”
  • “As a government, we will help lay the foundation for you to grow and innovate and succeed.”

Next, Obama put on his mask of fiscal conservatism to really impress. Look at all the ways he will cut spending and save the economy!

  • “Now, to make room for these investments in education, in innovation, in infrastructure, government also has a responsibility to cut spending that we just can’t afford. That’s why I’ve promised to veto any bill that’s larded up with earmarks. That’s why I’ve proposed that we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. Understand what this means. This would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and bring this spending — domestic discretionary spending — down to the lowest share of our economy since Eisenhower was president. That was a long time ago.”
  • “Now, it’s not going to be enough. We’re going to have to do more. Because the driving force on our deficits are entitlements spending. And that’s going to require both parties to work together, because those are some tough problems that we’re going to have to solve. And I am eager to work with both parties and with the Chamber to take additional steps across the budget to put our nation on a sounder fiscal footing.”
  • “By stopping spending on things we don’t need, we can make investments in the things that we do need, the same way families do. If they’ve got a fiscal problem, if they’ve got to tighten their belt, they don’t stop paying for Johnny to go to college. They cut out things they don’t need, but they still make investments in the thing that are going to make sure we win the future. And that’s what we have to do as a country: make some smart choices — tough choices, but smart ones.”

The New Obama then reveals how he will make it easier for business to operate in America.

  • “Now, in addition to making government more affordable, we’re also making it more effective and more consumer-friendly.”
  • “Now, another barrier government can remove — and I hear a lot about this from many of you — is a burdensome corporate tax code with one of the highest rates in the world.”
  • “Which brings me to the last barriers we’re trying to remove, and those are outdated and unnecessary regulations. I’ve ordered a government-wide review, and if there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them.”
  • Finally, Obama brings it home by explaining how we all need to work together to strengthen the economy, now that his campaign is beginning.

  • “So if I’ve got one message, my message is now is the time to invest in America. Now is the time to invest in America.”
  • “So we have faced hard times before. We have faced moments of tumult and moments of change. And we know what to do. We know how to succeed. We are Americans, and as we have done throughout our history, I have every confidence that once again we will rise to this occasion; that we can come together, we can adapt and we can thrive in this changing economy.”

I feel better already, don’t you?

Read the full text of the President’s speech here