Obama and the State of the Union — a Political Jekyll and Hyde?
Leading up to the State of the Union, we heard a lot of chatter that a proposed $25 billion settlement with the banks would be a selling point in President Obama’s speech.And maybe it would have been, had President Obama delivered the State of the Union. But clearly the person we saw last night addressing Congress was candidate Obama, who is a very different individual.
The State of the Union, at times, felt more like a stump speech that an address from a sitting president. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Obama finally sounded like someone willing to play tough with the banks with his ‘No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts’ line. Only time will tell if this is a true change in the President’s perspective, or if he’ll go right back to being the same man who handed out bailouts like candy.
We were glad to see Obama acknowledge that Wall Street was playing by its own rules, but he had a hand in allowing them to do so, so we hope he understands if we’re still a bit skeptical.
Right before the State of the Union, the Huffington Post broke the news that New York Attorney General Eric Scheniderman has been named to lead a new Unit on Mortgage Origination and Securitization Abuses, which could be a real game-changer. Like the editorial team at Oppenheim Law, Schneiderman has been a vocal critic of the aforementioned settlement.
He has been very tough on the White House’s foreclosure policies before, so maybe we’ll finally see the accountability and thorough investigation that we’ve been demanding.
And now that it’s being reported that Tim Geithner will likely not stay on if Obama gets a 2nd term, perhaps the President will finally surround himself with people who are not in the banks’ back pocket.
Or for that matter, their front pocket.
Whether Obama ultimately turns out to be a Jekyll or a Hyde, remains to be seen.