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Local Analyst: Obama Has Tough Challenge in Jobs Speech

As President Obama prepares for his jobs speech to the nation tonight, a local analyst says the political agenda has already been set, which could mean some tough work for the president as he tries to convince voters that his newest plan is the right one.


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The President will unveil details of his proposed 300-billion dollar jobs package this evening. It’s his latest attempt to jumpstart job creation in a nation that’s seen stagnant employment growth.

Brandon Rottinghaus is an associate professor of political science at the  University of Houston. He says President Obama has to be specific.

“Presidents don’t often get specific, because the public doesn’t always want that, but here I think he has to be very clear about exactly what it is he thinks it going to happen. So, that is going to require digging down into the policy briefing book to try to pull out some specific examples about exactly what is going to happen as a result he thinks, they argue, of this particular plan.” 

Obama walking
President Barack Obama walks through Lafayette Square with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling after addressing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., Feb. 7, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Rottinghaus says the President also has to respond to a volley of criticism last night from Republicans in the hunt for the GOP presidential nomination.

“The public has identified this as the number one issue and the Republicans, not even 24-hours before the President gives his speech, have crafted strategies that are diametrically opposed to the one that the President will choose. So the President is really battling uphill here and he’s going to have to convince people that not only should we be doing his policy, but also trying to articulate distance between his policy and the policies of the Republicans.”

You can hear President Obama’s speech starting a 6 p.m. on KUHF.

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