Ready to go.

The stimulus gets a salesman: Obama fired up in front of the Democrats.

“This isn’t some abstract debate.”

Barack Obama tells the House Democratic Retreat (the right audience for the kind of emotional contagion he needs) exactly why the stimulus is critical: the job numbers; the unemployment claims; the would-be hard workers forced onto food stamps. He even gets in a plug–pun accidental but now intended–for hybrid cars.

His tone in addressing Republican zealots who don’t understand, or don’t care, that the best stimulus is, in fact, government spending might be summarized in Ring Lardner’s words: ” ‘Shut up,’ he explained.” (That’s around the end of the short video clip. The President does not, in fact, use those words.)

The House Democrats already knew all of this. The intended audience is us; more specifically, your friends who read fewer blogs than you do. Send it along.

Short video

Long video

Short AP story

Full transcript

Afterthought: Now that the times have a’changed, can’t we fire the mole at C-SPAN who gave the clip the headline “President Obama Attends Democrat Conference”?

Author: Andrew Sabl

I'm a political theorist and Visiting Professor (through 2017) in the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale. My interests include the history of political thought, toleration, democratic theory, political ethics, problems of coordination and convention, the realist movement in political theory, and the thought of David Hume. My first book, Ruling Passions: Political Offices and Democratic Ethics (Princeton, 2002) covered many of these topics, with a special focus on the varieties of democratic politics and the disparate qualities of mind and character appropriate to those who practice each of them. My second book Hume's Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England was published in 2012; I am currently finishing a book on toleration, with the working title The Virtues of Hypocrisy, under contract with Harvard University Press. A Los Angeles native, I got my B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. Before coming to Yale I taught at Vanderbilt and at UCLA, where I was an Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor; and held visiting positions at Williams, Harvard, and Princeton. I am married to Miriam Laugesen, who teaches health policy and the politics of health care at the Mailman School of public health at Columbia, and we have a twelve-year-old son.