Words alone unlikely to help Obama, veteran speechwriters say

Facing worsening economic figures, a plummeting approval rating, and steadfast opposition on the right, Obama may not offer much beyond good intentions in tonight’s speech.

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In his speech on the state of the economy tonight, President Barack Obama’s got to pull himself out of a huge ditch. One comedian on Twitter, @EliBraden, put it this way in referencing the movie “Say Anything”: “BREAKING: Obama jobs speech will just be him outside your house playing Peter Gabriel on boombox.”

It’s easy to believe the president’s speech will be one big, last-ditch gesture to win the country back. It comes on the heels of an announcement that employers added a net of exactly zero new jobs to the economy in August. Growth in the first six months of this year has been a mere 0.7 percent, the lowest since the official end of the recession in June 2009.

President Obama’s approval rating has sunk to an all-time low—44 percent—according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday. Only 37 percent approve of how he’s handling the economy. Meanwhile, Congress is facing its worst poll numbers ever, with 82 percent of respondents saying they’re dissatisfied with its actions.

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