Obama's SOTU: Go Centrist, or Go Home

Both sides are right in economy debate, says Fareed Zakaria
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2011 1:49 PM CST
Obama's SOTU: Go Centrist, or Go Home
FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2010, file photo President Barack Obama, visiting Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, N.C., speaks about the key to boosting American competitiveness, that it rests in the nation's willingness to invest in a more educated workforce, a deeper commitment to research...   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

President Obama’s recent move the center has been a political boon, but in his State of the Union address he needs to redefine that center, laying out "a genuinely bipartisan pro-growth strategy ... that is not just good politics but good policy," writes Fareed Zakaria for the Washington Post. Right now, Democrats want to spend, Republicans want to cut taxes, with last month's deficit-expanding tax deal seemingly the only middle ground. "We can't keep playing this game."

Obama must "move beyond this debate," and recognize that "both sides are correct." Republicans rightly worry over burdensome regulations—we should remove, for example, the rules that drove Goldman Sachs to seek foreign investors for Facebook. But we also need to boost government spending on research and development to keep our global IT edge. “If Obama gets his State of the Union right,” Zakaria concludes, “it will remind Americans why they elected him in the first place.” (Read more Fareed Zakaria stories.)

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