Embattled as he now is, Barack Obama has not lost his rhetorical touch. In today’s weekly address, he uses the fourth anniversary of the Gulf hurricane as an image for American efforts to repair the economy, reform health care and overcome political division.
“Government,” he says, “must be a partner–not an opponent-–in getting things done.”
His description of hands-on efforts to rebuild New Orleans comes against a backdrop of devastation in Washington as bipartisan efforts in the Senate Finance Committee are deemed “all but dead” and the White House is reported to be “quietly talking about drafting formal health care legislation after allowing Congress to work on its own for months.”
Amid this political wreckage, the President is at pains to point out that “with every tragedy comes the chance of renewal. It is a quintessentially American notion–that adversity can give birth to hope, and that the lessons of the past hold the key to a better future.
“From the streets of New Orleans to the Mississippi Coast, folks are beginning the next chapter in their American stories. And together, we can ensure that the legacy of a terrible storm is a country that is safer and more prepared for the challenges that may come.”