Let me finish tonight with the president's new lease. I'm talking about his higher approval numbers.
Let me be blunt. I wish him well. I also know that he will not hold these new, high numbers if the jobless rate stays above 9 percent for too many more months. He needs to give business confidence that things are settled down in terms of taxes and regulation, that they can get their plans together knowing the lay of the land. I think the president knows that and will signal it next week in the state of the union.
He also must know that from here on out, certainly from here to the next election, we're looking at a sack race - one Democratic leg in the sack, one Republican leg. Nothing's going to move unless both parties are moving forward together. Whatever he talks about next week in his speech, it is essential that it be something that has a bi-partisan appeal - got to cut tax rates, not raise them in any reform, got to cut fairly in any long-term spending reduction. That's the deal; Dems’ the rules.
But right now, on the verge of the state of the union, the president's in good position with the American people. He got the tone right.
When you have a fire in the neighborhood, smart people start checking to see if you're following the safety rules yourself. You check the chimney to see if it's got hot spots. You have the wiring in the house looked at to guard against any electrical fire.
We've got no clear idea of what caused the horror in Tucson. But we're not completely in the dark. We know it was done with the handgun. We know it was done against an elected public official, a politician, okay, a Democratic politician. We know it was at a scheduled official event.
We don't know why that guy brought that gun to a political event and shot a politician and those other people. But it might make common sense, if you've got that, to cool it on speeches that bring together guns and politics, guns and the hatred of government officials, don't you think?
The president has caught that country's tone - and that could be the chief reason for his fifteen-point spike in job approval.