We’re still not sure what to make of Obama’s first speech to Congress last night. Maybe it’s cause we’re jaded, or maybe it’s because he’s been talking every day that it all kind of blends together. Still we wondered whether this line on his housing plan — “It’s a plan that won’t help speculators or that neighbour down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford…” — was something of an acknowledgment of the Rick Santelli Chicago Tea Party crowd.
We think it might’ve been. See, even though Obama disagrees with Santelli’s assessment of the homeowner bailout, the guy definitely tapped into something. Not everyone blames Wall Street fat cats. If you’re living in a neighbourhood, and you watched people move onto your block by overstating their income, and now their houses are up for foreclosure, bringing your property values down, you’re going to be extremely pissed. And rightly. That isn’t in itself enough to damn the whole plan as being bad, but there are obviously enough people who feel this way that to ignore this frustration would be politically stupid.