Every Obama speech is Carter's "malaise" speech to media conservatives

Blog ››› ››› MIKE BURNS

In commentary on President Obama's speeches, conservative media have apparently concluded that references to Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech are a handy tool to use, no matter the topic at hand. For instance:

Obama's August 31 address on Iraq

  • On the August 31 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News contributor Ralph Peters said that when he "listened to" Obama's speech on the end of combat operations in Iraq, "two ghosts appeared. One was the Jimmy Carter malaise speech. The other - the other ghost was Richard Nixon's Vietnamization speeches." (Accessed via Nexis)

Obama's June 15 Oval Office speech on the BP oil spill

  • On the June 16, 2010 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity said of Obama's first Oval Office address: "You know -- but what I got out of last night besides I think probably the worst Oval Office address in history or at least in close competition to Carter's malaise speech, it seems to me the Obama so-called magic is gone, the rhetoric is old and stale. The rhetorical tricks are somewhat old and boring and tiresome. You know people aren't fainting any more, Michelle." (Accessed via Nexis)
  • During the June 16 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh stated that Carter's speech "is almost verbatim what Obama said last night, almost the exact same speech." Limbaugh added, "I tell you, it's second term of Jimmy Carter! And it's liberalism 100% through and through."
  • In a June 15 RedState post titled "Barack Obama Embraces His Inner Jimmy Carter," Erick Erickson wrote, "Whatever the reason, Barack Obama gave the most depressing Oval Office speech since Jimmy Carter's malaise speech. He didn't just embrace defeat, he wore it on his suit as a substitute for an argyle sweater."

Obama's June 2 speech on the economy at Carnegie Mellon

  • In a June 4 article on American Thinker, Ed Lasky wrote that "President Obama's speech at Carnegie Mellon University is rightfully being compared to Jimmy Carter's notorious 'malaise' speech," adding, "All that was missing was the cardigan sweater."
  • In a June 13 editorial headlined "Malaise at Mellon," IBD wrote, "It might as well have been President Carter addressing the audience of students and faculty at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University. Instead it was President Obama who spoke of our dependence on fossil fuels and blamed everybody and everything, except for a lack of presidential leadership, for our current situation." The editorial concluded by stating, "If the students at Mellon were anxious, they had reason to be. We have labeled Jimmy Carter our worst ex-president. He may soon have a rival for that title."
  • A June 8 FoxNews.com column stated: "The apt comparison between Obama's speech on the economy and Carter's is that "a crisis of confidence" persists today. There is the same anxiety that in Barack Obama we have another Jimmy Carter--a self-righteous ideologue who is in over his head, championing policies that are not only unpopular but also destructive."

Obama's January 20 Inaugural Address

  • In a January 23, 2009 Human Events piece, conservative activist Michael Reagan claimed that "You can hear echoes of that malaise speech in Obama's inaugural address when he said, 'These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.'"
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