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By CNN’s Wolf Blitzer
(CNN) - President Obama really needs to deliver Thursday night when he addresses a joint session of Congress. I’m not just talking about the politics of the big speech. I am talking about really delivering for the American people.
He needs to come with an understandable and doable plan that will help turn things around for millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans. That means getting some package through Congress; otherwise, the words won’t have any practical job creation benefit.
Coming up with such a legislative package would also represent the best politics for him and his bid for re-election.
Right now, so many Americans have lost confidence in his ability to govern. Yes, they need to be inspired by his lofty words. But more importantly, they need to see tangible progress over the horizon. That means they need to see jobs.
A good political speech that lays out his vision for job creation is certainly important for the campaign. It will differentiate his vision from that of his Republican challengers.
But if it’s just a speech, with no prospect of legislative approval and the jobs picture remains bleak, that won’t do President Obama much good. American voters will tend to blame the incumbent president for a bad economy.
Right now, the only silver lining for President Obama is that Americans disapprove of Congress even more than they disapprove of him. The congressional job approval number hovers at record low levels.
And if there’s no uptick in the jobs picture soon, that already very low level will drop even more.
The challenge is enormous for both political parties as they gear up for the campaign. That’s politics.
But what’s so much more important right now than politics is the economic health of the country. Millions of people are suffering.
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