February 24th, 2009
01:01 PM ET

What should Pres. Obama say tonight?


What should the president say before Congress? (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Most Americans are hungry to hear what President Barack Obama has to say about the economy when he addresses a joint session of Congress tonight.

A new USA Today/Gallup poll shows 74% of those surveyed are eager to hear the president talk about the economic challenges facing our country.

That includes 18% who want to hear about jobs, job creation or unemployment, 15% who want information about the banking crisis or bailout, 14% who want to hear more about the $787 billion stimulus package. 11% want the president to talk about the housing crisis and 10% who cite health care.

Outside of the economy, some other issues mentioned are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, education and illegal immigration.

The New York Times suggests that the president's challenge tonight is to declare that "out of ugly necessity" big government is back. But if done right, it won't last for long. The hardest part will be for the president to convince Americans they can't save themselves without first saving "the banks that let greed blot out prudence, the carmakers who ignored competitive reality for a quarter-century, and the homeowners who somehow persuaded themselves that housing prices only move up."

It's a tall order even for Mr. Obama – who's no slouch in the oratory department. Amidst all the rotten economic news – he will need to be at once reassuring and realistic.

Here’s my question to you: What do you want to hear from President Obama tonight?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Joe from Chatham, Virginia writes:
I'd like to hear him balance concern with hope, get us looking past the current mess to the future. The sooner we can begin changing the mood of gloom in the country, the quicker the recovery will come.

Joan writes:
What do I want to hear? "We've got a hard row to hoe now for a while. It won't be pretty or easy for everyone. Sacrifices will have to made, and become a normal habit. People will have to put aside personal greed for the sake of others of us who have nothing left to put aside. The days of flying high are gone.

Darin from Denver writes:
Good or bad, we need the truth. American's are tired, scared and fed up – let's try some honesty.

Nancy from Tennessee writes:
My choice would be that President Obama would become more silent and let the stimulus package do what it was designed to do. I have always been for transparency in government, but I don't want it at the expense of my 401K in the stock market. Every time we get news out of Washington, the market takes an unfavorable hit. I've seen enough of Obama for this quarter.

Ben writes:
1. Bank crooks, er, executives, will go to jail if they used federal dollars to line their pockets and those of their cronies. 2. Affordable health care for all is achievable. Why should the taxpayers pay for the health care of Congress, the White House and all of their staffs and not have access to the same?

Al from Lawrence, Kansas writes:
Honesty, and won't that be refreshing for a change. I don't want sugar coating. I'm not a child, and I don't need him to tuck me in and tell me that there are no monsters under the bed. I've looked under the bed, and it's crowded with monsters. Just be honest, I can handle it.

Filed under: President Barack Obama
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Gaston Gravel

    Cars companies should be left going bankrupt

    It is the only chance to renew without the burden of Unions

    February 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  2. David Gerstenfeld Las Vegas

    Hopefully, something that makes my 401K go up.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  3. samir from florida

    "If you were ever thinking of moving abroad, now would be the time."

    February 24, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  4. Jack

    He should verbal spank the "me generation" !

    February 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  5. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    I would like to hear him say that instead of passing our problems on to future generations, we are going to deal with our problems here and now. I would like for him to say that it is time that the American people return to working towards a better future for their children, instead of a better present for themselves. This is the way it's been done for centuries, and guess what, it works.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Wisconsin Don

    Anything different than "I inherited this" or "crisis" or "it's not my fault".

    Maybe something more positive like " I found a Democrat for Commerce Secretary who really pays his taxes".

    February 24, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  7. Terry from North Carolina

    he can tell us how the party was Sunday night at the White House and how much he enjoyed Earth Wind & Fire. I dont want to listen to anything else because its all peaches and cream, meanwhile I am watching my 401K go down the drain and I cant pay my bills.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  8. Conor in Chicago

    "I have spoken to the Canadian Prime Minister and he has assured me that all American refugees will be given food and shelter after we decend into chaos".

    February 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  9. Georgia, NC

    Hi Jack,

    I would applaude an announcement that President Obama has picked up the "open checkbook" that Congress uses for their little "jaunts and other perks".

    They talk about America's pain, House cleaning begins at home folks!

    February 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  10. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    The most important thing that Pres. Obama should say is how important it is for us to start spending our money instead of hoarding it. We need to be prudent but the economy will never recover if we don't start putting some of our money back into the system. Everybody is scared right now, but we shouldn't stop living like normal people either.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  11. W. Freed

    I would ask our new President why we are getting $13 more
    in our paychecks when one of the corporations who accepted
    the recent Bailout used that money to make 700 people
    within that same company new millionares!
    Why didn't Congress require an accounting of where every
    cent of the tax payers money was going to be spent by requiring
    the companies receiving billions in bail out money to bring
    accounting records to Congress showing where the money
    went. Should not have been divided up among 4 CEOs to
    the tune of $120 million between the four!
    Also, I never thought I would live to see an entire community
    receiving emergency food relief out West because the governiment
    would not step up and help these recently unployed citizens there.
    Thank goodness Faith based Feed the Children has come to
    that town and is helping do what our government has yet to do
    for them there in that town.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  12. Don-Pittsburgh

    Our president has provided more leadership in the past 30 plus days than was provided in the last 8 years. He needs to stay the course!! As a proud American I'm confident that non partisan senators like Arlen Spector will continue to do what's right for America. He needs to continue to be candid and honest about our serious recession/depression. Sugar counting right now will do more harm than good.

    Don -Pennsylvania

    February 24, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  13. Adam from Philly

    President Obama needs to return to the inspiring oratory he was known for during the campaign. He needs to tell the American people that, yes, we are going through hard times, but we will get through this. Our economy will recover and we will forge a new green economy that restores our standing in the world, and provides a better future for our children.

    People need a little hope right now...

    February 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Pauline Johnson

    He should tell us to stop listening to CNN's daily polls, updates on the first 100 days, negative comments on everything he says and trashing of the bills he signs. If markets are driven by two emotions – fear and greed – CNN is doing a great job on driving up the fear factor.

    Pauline Johnson
    Golden Valley, MN

    February 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  15. Dave in Saint Louis!

    He better stop with the sky is falling crap! I say he needs to turn that hope machine on and power that boy to the max!

    February 24, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  16. Leah Dayton OH

    That Sanjay has accepted the position of Surgeon General!!!!!

    February 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  17. Anthony Hunter


    Pres. Obama should simply tell the truth! No matter how angry its makes my hypocritical republican brothers and sisters – he should be up front as he has been all along!


    February 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  18. Lisa

    I want to hear him say that as Americans we are strong enough to get through this crisis and come out better on the other side. Our econony is sick and we have had no fiscal healthcare for 8 years. And our government is going to help us till we get better. And we will.... And I would love it if he said all the Wall Street Fat Cats are going to be made to work at McDonalds for a year and live on minumum wage. Please! Please! Please! say that!

    February 24, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  19. L.M.,Arizona

    Just be honest if america can't take it so be it.


    February 24, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  20. Chris from Buffalo, N.Y.

    What do I want to hear Mr. Obama say tonight? I want to hear his plan on how he's going to fix our economy. What do I expect to hear Mr. Obama say tonight? I expect he'll spend a great deal of time placing blame on the previous administration for our economic woes.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  21. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I'd like to hear him call us all to action, because it will take the collective efforts and sacrifices of us all to get our country back on track.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  22. John from Alabama

    Jack: The American people want to hear how the stimulus package and the bank bailout will help them personally. President Obama can stress that he inherited the economic disaster and as part of the economic solution his administration is also going to reduce the deficit by allowing the taxcuts for the top 5% of the tax code to expire, and reduce the amount of money being spend in Iraq. High dollar defense spending for jets and new fighting vehicles will slow down. Spending for Afghanistan War will be in the budget, and not part of some supplemental spending with zero funds to back up the spending.

    John from Alabama

    February 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  23. Geri

    As a taxpayer I want to hear the truth about the state of the union. I think since I'm helping to bail out those who got us into this mess, the least the government can do is tell us taxpayers the truth. Or doesn't government, big business, and banking know how to do that?

    Geri – Mead, OK

    February 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  24. Kyle Dickerson

    I do not want to hear anything from President Obama that is not the truth. He needs to be honest with the American people and tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. President Obama cannot afford to lose the trust of Americans by sugar coating the problems this economy is going to face.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  25. Margaret Ott

    The ugly truth.

    Phoenix, AZ

    February 24, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  26. Joe


    I want to hear that the House of Representatives and Senate have agreed to collaboratively work for the Country of the United States’ best interests for a stable strong long term, and not their own interests. Note I did not say “future” because I believe politicians define the future as only extending through their next election.


    February 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  27. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    I would like to hear that George Bush is being tried for his immeasurable graft and corruption, and that the rest of the GOP is getting out of the way. President Obama is intelligent and resourceful enough to bring this ship around, but only if everyone is rowing with him rather than dragging their feet in the water.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  28. Joe in DE

    That Trade agreement must provide that imports to the US meet our Health & safety standards and that we will inspect and judge compliance.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  29. Ann in NH

    He could start with the truth. Love when. President is honest. He should probably say something like, "It's a whole lot worse than we thought folks" or simplify it for those who think he's too wordy. For them he should simply say, "We're screwed people", it will be prime time afterall.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  30. George in N.H.

    The following should an appropriate opening remark for tonight:

    '....I'd like to say that Hillary Clinton and John McCain were right! Experience does matter....This job sucks!...'

    February 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  31. Daniel Blair

    Jack, whatever our hardworking President says will do me fine.
    Thank you.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  32. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    I want to hear him chastise congress: for putting politics ahead of the people, for putting pork ahead of progress, for putting ideologies ahead of national interest.. I want to hear him chastise wall street for putting speculation ahead of investment and turning the nations exchanges into over-glorified casinos, and creating bubbles out of necessities. I want to here him chastise the financial elite, the trust fund babies, and their sychophants for maintaining a ‘plantation mentality ‘ that exploits the working people and robs them of an honest days pay, their benefits and property. I want to hear him say that we are henceforth united to form a more perfect union that will truelly be of the people, by the people and for the people…or else.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  33. Kevin Staunton Va

    Dear Jack, The president must tell the American people that we will get through this economic crisis, but inorder to do it, we must work together. The people who have the attitude " whats in it for me only" are just like the people who helped get us into this mess, they don't care about there country, only themselves. Witness the cnbc tirade of greed.Don,t help your fellow Americans, screw them. Oh by the way I believe that is the motto of the minority party in Congress. Government of the rich, by the rich, and of the rich, and screw everyone else.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  34. lynn

    Why don't you people just wait until he speak?? With the mindless chatter all day on CNN, I for one am glad it is our president who will speak tonight!! Nothing but negativity and media created controversy all day.

    Listen to the entirety of his speeches, not just the comments you cherrypick to endlessly "interpret", and you will find a confident, optimistic summary of how Americans have overcome adversoty in the past and how they will overcome this economic crisis.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  35. Ron

    Jack,I want him to stand up and be hard nosed and tell congress no money to the banks or auto industry unless they change management.If they would go into bankruptcy that is what would happen,it should be the same for the government.Get hard and don't back of,and be a little bit more opptimistc about things.Ron in AR

    February 24, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  36. Jack in Dayton, Nevada

    I'd like for the president to explain how borrowing more money can solve this problem. ... Seems like borrowing too much is what got us here.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  37. Billy G in Las Vegas

    I want to hear that there will be federal grants to the states to keep current infrastructure construction projects going as many are being shut down due to a lack of state funds. you don't get more "shovel ready" than those and it would have an immediate effect to help stabilize the growing unemployment problem.

    it's a 21st Century "New Deal".

    February 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  38. Farrell

    Anything but "mission accomplished"!

    February 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  39. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    It's all been so crazy. I don't know what I want to hear from President Obama, but I'll know it when I hear it.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  40. adem

    To tell me the truth in a very simple words!

    February 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  41. LaylaCR

    A tangible timeline for when he thinks the general state of economic affairs can improve enough so that I don't have to live in fear of losing my job everyday...

    February 24, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  42. Simon Dreyfuss

    Jack the President needs to be nothing short of spectacular tongiht. He needs to take a page from the Reagan playbook and ensure the American people that things are going to get better, SOON. This economic crisis is totally psycological, If we beleive that the economy is improving, chances are it will.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  43. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Nothing. Enough talk, let's see more action.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  44. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    I want to hear Obama say that he is going to appoint me as the next Secretary of Commerce, but I doubt he will.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  45. Dan from Alliance, OH

    I still think the economy will come around. It may be slow to happen but it will come around. If consumers want it to happen faster they should look for labels that say Made in USA, that will help. I am hoping he talks about medical care. This has gotten more out of hand than the economy and insurance for all is needed more than ever.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  46. Rob

    I'd like the President to tell people he's solved the healthcare crisis, by taking the whole insurance bureaucracy out of the equation. Say ten percent of every dollar earned, from each stock sold on Wall St to a tip for a waitress goes into a National Health Preservation Fund. Instead of letting the Insurance employees go, hire them to consolidate a central database of medical records, cutting down the cost, and the need for redundant paperwork. By taking the HMOs and so-called "providers" out of the equation, we should be able to save the money we need, and get a headstart on Medicare reform. Naive I know, but could it really do worse than what we have now?

    February 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  47. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    I want to hear the details of the plan to deal with the financial crisis in the banking sector. This decision can not be delayed any further and we all know what that decision will ultimately have to be. The big banks and some of the smaller ones are insolvent. So, he should say he is going to make the tough decision to nationalize, pre-privatize or whatever you want to call the act of the federal government taking over the banking system. Then institute a sound monetary policy with regulatory safeguards to ensure that a financial crisis never happens again.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  48. Greg Saunders

    I've got a great idea! Let's spend several trillion on slar panels and wind turbines. Pipe the energy to the people and problem solved. Thye benefit goes to the people who paid. The problem that is destroying our economy is history!



    February 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  49. Jennifer in Winnipeg

    Jack, my husband says he'd like to hear Mr. Obama tell us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel ... so long as that light is not attached a freight train speeding towards us.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  50. me46

    Jokes. Lots of jokes. We could all use a little cheering up.
    – Tom

    February 24, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  51. Kathy in Chicago

    Jack, At this point I don't care what he says, I just can't drink the kool-aid anymore. I think this problem is so big that none of them in Washington knows what to do, let alone can any two people agree on what to do. We have two political parties who are constantly fighting to win the next election that they don't care if the American people get hurt in the process. I fear for my children's future, I really do. Rick Santelli said it all! I am broke and tired of paying for dead beats and mismanagement.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  52. Tony in Michigan

    I want to hear President Obama stop all this bipartisan chatter and flat out blame this mess and the lack of cooperation on the Republicans and their ideals. Obviously the GOP's way has not worked, it will not work and they need to open their eyes to reality of the crisis they created. What type of an idiot thinks that tax breaks or bailouts for huge corporations without oversight will fix anything?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  53. George, Dunedin, Florida

    I would like to hear the President lay out his plan, so that we understand it, convince us it will work, and above all tell us the truth, and I am certain that the majority of the people watching, or listening will be on his side, and those who want to see his plan fail, should be asked to rise, and be counted. You won't see too many people rise, but there will be those who will not be truthful. Should he do this, at least we wouldn't have been swallowed up by the beast, and he will have proved once, and for all that his intentions to help the people of this great nation. overcome, and achieve greats things.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  54. Tommy Pullman

    Jack, I just want him to tell me that everything is going to be alright. And a hug would be nice.

    Bedford, Indiana

    February 24, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  55. L. E. Burnette

    I want to hear how we're going to pay China back. There are half a billion Chinese living in poverty while the majority of Americans live in relative luxury. Some day they'll want to call in all of the chips, then what?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  56. Ellie from Philadelphia

    I'd love to hear him address partisanship. In the future it should be necessary for a congressman to bring forth a new idea if they disagree with an idea as it is presented, not simply shoot down viable options.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  57. Steve - southern Illinois

    I just hope he does not say, "I quit."

    February 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  58. An American

    I would like to hear him anounce his resignation.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  59. maria, california

    I sure do NOT want to hear the words amnesty! If he is dead set on being a one term president then he will go down this path. And I want to hear that he is going to buy every American dinner. Cause if I am going to be screwed I at least want a dinner out of it.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  60. John in Arizona

    Jack, Obama was elected by ordinary citizens who wanted a leader who could restore HOPE and bring about CHANGE. I want to hear him reaffirm his commitment to delivering both.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  61. Rory Welch-St Louis

    Free beer and hotdogs for everyone!!!!!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  62. Lynne from NJ

    I am hoping that the president will veto any spending bill with earmarks or close the government down unless Congress postpones their earmarks for one year. Money should not be spent on pet projects but on things that are for the common good.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  63. Liz in Los Angeles, CA

    I would very much like to hear him speak out for Americans 60 and over who, like me, still want to work and are peppy, loyal, intelligent, and computer literate. There's a lot of us, and we're tired of being overlooked because 20-somethings think we're beyond our "best by" date.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  64. Paul, FL

    Obama should say that he is going to scrap our current tax code and beginning Jan 1, 2010 we will be using the Fair Tax!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  65. simon

    I'd like the president to address the positive steps that people can take immediately to help the economy. If we buy things made in China, will that help or hurt? If we buy a used car, will that help or hurt? Does saving money help or hurt the economy?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  66. Marcus from Tempe, AZ

    Jack, in these times I hope Obama considers this: The legalization of marijuana. Having a new bill introduced in the California legislator, Tom Ammiano estimates that for his state alone, the tax revenue will be over $1 billion annually. Needless to say, economy solved.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  67. Troy Hewitt

    I'd honestly like to hear Pres. Obama's response to those elected officials who are saying they don't want/need any of the stimulus funds. Can we re-direct those funds to areas of the country that DO need the money?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  68. Lisa B in Yucca Valley, CA

    How about just the truth?
    We are in this mess partly because we were lied to. Sugar coating of facts, and denial of reality, on the part of the previous administration, to cover up thier ineptness and to protect the financial scoundrels in our financial institutions and Wall Street.. We don't need more of the same.
    WE all know that nothing lasts forever, even this crisis. Obama should not be pushed into telling us fairy stories, because some people can"t handle the truth. I am an adult, and I want to trust my President, That would instill more confidence than all the soft soap some are asking for.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  69. Richard Becker

    Hi, Jack

    What I'd like to see is President Obama apologize for wasting the countries time. After which he would tender his resignation and endorse some ne else to take over the reigns. Hopefully an independent like Lou Dobbs.

    Sincerely Richard Becker
    Frankfort, Kentucky

    February 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  70. Lynn, San Diego

    Tell us his plan and what we can do to keep from making things worse; I'd also like for him to tell the sour-grapes Republicans to put up or shut up – all I hear out of them is that we should trust business to get us out of this – I personally have had enough of the fox guarding the hen house, all I see my party doing is learning to suck eggs. Lynn, San Diego Republican

    February 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  71. Debi Anderson

    The truth, Jack. The truth is rare, yet incredibly refreshing coming from the political realm. We have a lot of dirt and grime to wash off of us from some of the dirty-underhanded politics and greedy business policies of the last decade and the truth would be like taking a much-needed shower...even if the truth hurts and the solution requires a little bit of sacrifice from ALL OF US!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  72. Greg Alan Morelli, Chicago Illinois

    President Obama should congratulate the "commie homo-loving sons of guns" who honored Harvey Milk with an oscar. Maybe he could invite James Dobson to the white house for a screening.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  73. drew

    i would like to hear from president obama how the stimulus package would stimulate jobs, and how making this a green energy independent country. We where once the country of opportunity, hope, and leadership what happend

    February 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  74. Ron B - Pittsburgh

    I'd like to hear him say he's making the Republican Party illegal. If not, at the very least, they must deliver their speeches full of hot air in front of windmill farms. That should generate enough electricty to supply California !!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  75. angel alvarez

    I am illegal inmigrant from honduras, i havenot seen my family in long time, and we all are waiting for obama to say something about his plan to deal with the inmmigration reform.
    Many latinos who vote for obama are worries because since he won he is not saing nothing about his promise to deal with us.

    And he most do something if not the 10 million latinos that voted for him in the last election season wont vote for him again.


    February 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  76. Jim from Chicago

    Jack, President Obama should say, "The time has come to ...
    – realize that we can either fight each other, or fight to solve our problems, but we cannot do both at the same time
    – pure ideological thinking has its place and this is neither the time nor the place
    – stop blaming our neighbors and reach out a hand to help them
    – understand that while the economic realities we face are indeed tough, it is the American spirit to persevere that is our greatest asset

    February 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  77. Samantha

    Jack, as a working college student in Sacramento CA I would like to hear President Obama speak more about the stimulus package and how it will effect my finacial situation for the better. Also I would like to hear how my 401k will grow in stead of decline. I want to know about health care coverage and finacial aid for my higher education. But also I want to know how he plans to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. I know he has alot on his plate and I still have faith in the President but just having more transparancy like this gets him more favor points in my eyes. I guess we will just see how it goes.........god bless America.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  78. Betty---IN.

    Simply the Truth. Not that wall Street gets more or the Banks & all the other big company's getting more & more, yet keep on failing. When Obama was here in my home town, Elkhart In., not long ago pushing his "Big Plan" he promised our town & other towns like mine that help would be on the way, well we're stll waiting for that "help" . Lets all Hope that all that talk wasn't just that–talk.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  79. Jane enloe

    I want to hear him talk about specific help to the unemployed and homeless. How are we going to help these people? Thank God I am not one of them.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  80. johnny

    It would be nice to hear the truth. But as we all know that is something in short supply in our country. Im sure he will tell us what we want to hear. America has a hard time with the truth when we hear it, we always want to be told something nice not the cold hard facts!!!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  81. zlatko

    Obama needs to talk about Jobs and how he is going to stop outsourcing this best country’s jobs. We have been outsourcing for years and corporate America is not better off for it. This is because when you outsource for cheaper labor, you also outsource your customer. Workers are customers!!! If you have no more customers, you end up in a recession/depressio. How stupid are these people. Its jobs, jobs, jobs!!! If you have jobs, all the other problems go away. People will gladly pay theirs mortgages, spend money new cars, new products, home improvements, etc. Fix it Obama!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  82. Ken-Long Island

    I'd like to hear that we can work our way out of our problems provided the congress pulls together for the benefit of the people instead of for the benefit of the special interests that line their pockets. You would think that as people loose their homes, their jobs and their life savings the people in Congress would put their constituents ahead of political expediency and personal gain. Alexander Hamilton once said, "that if the American system of government was purged of its corruption it would be impractacable." So I guess I'd like to hear it's time for a fresh start.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  83. Jean Desselle


    With the utmost respect for you it is time for the people of this country to stop pointing fingers, and understand you have a President that has inherited an awesome challenge and it is time for the people to get off there *SSES and stand behind him and quit whining!

    Jean in LA

    February 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  84. Susan from Twn Falls Idaho

    That he feels confident we will prevail in our failing economy. His advisors have got to know something positive. We have heard enough about how bad it is..

    February 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  85. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Obama should tell America tonight the names of those CEOs and Boards of the banks who are responsible for telling their people to flim-flam Americans into taking on mortgages they couldn't pay on homes they couldn't afford. It's time for some real accountability.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  86. Jazherah MacMornna

    Crime's not being addressed at all these days, but some of us live in neighborhoods where the crack dealers run things. In fact, there was yet another murder in the Tenderloin last night. So, in addition to the economic stuff I know he will discuss, I'd really love to know what kind of plan he has to deal with crime, crack, and neighborhoods that aren't fit for human habitation.

    San Francisco

    February 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  87. Andy

    He did not create this crisis. We must be patient and even more so cooperative. The Republicans have demonstrated to America they, as a party, are not team players. Rather vote out of fear of losing their next personal election.They are selfish. They are BIG CRY BABIES. Grow up, this is America we were built by being TEAM players. We all face a crisis we must work together, he is the leader and we are very fortunate to have him.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  88. Doug T.

    Get it right for a change, I am sick and tired of hearing the media say that social security is an entitlement, it is not! I have been paying in to this for almost 40 years, 15 of which I had to pay over 15% of my income in self employment tax (social security) until the idiots in Washington started their globilazitation and free trade agreements that put us out of business.
    Until L.B.J. transferred these funds into his great society we were not even spending the interest it was building.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  89. Gus

    I want Obama to tell Americans that they should be more responsible for themselves! He will never do this because he wants to expand the governments role in our lives. Let the government provide you income, housing, and healthcare. What about savings and vacations too!

    In this day and age, our culture has become one where the people are too damn irresponsible. We expect others to clean up after us. And for Obama, the "others" is government.

    Lest we forget, we, the people, are the government!!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  90. PaSai

    The truth!...no more no less. I know that can be a strange concept for most politicians. I'm hoping President Obama is different. Only time will tell.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  91. Rita Pollock

    I want President Obama to tell the American public the truth, even though the truth may hurt.

    It's time for Americans to face reality and get down to working together to solve your multitude of problems.

    You had eight years of a government who refused to look at reality and spent, spent, on the wrong things, an illegal war, tax cuts for their friends instead of working for the people that elected them, etc. etc.

    Tax dollars are supposed to be to provide the support the public needs. Government isn't evil if it does what it is supposed to do. Surely, the greed that has existed because of a philosophy that business should be unfettered isn't reality and it certainly hasn't worked.

    People, start looking beyond the propaganda you have been fed for generations. Business providing the work needed to support people is not bad but unfettered Capitalism is.

    Coquitlam BC

    February 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  92. Scott in Canada

    Basically, he needs everything that Geithner was missing last week – details, explanation and energy in heavy doses so we feel like we understand the problem, we feel like he understands the problem, we feel he has a plan that we feel isn't something hashed out on the back of a napkin, and we feel he's prepared to go ahead with that plan. Whether we agree with the plan or even whether we agree it's a good plan is kinda irrelevant, really, because most Americans are so far over their heads in this mess and no one has a concrete plan to work with that anyone having a plan and having real confidence rather than blind, ideological faith in it could carry the nation.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  93. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    "Endeavor to persevere !


    February 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  94. Julie K. Krick

    I would like to hear him emphasize that people need to be accountable for what they do and the decisions they make. This includes government officials. If the government acts responsibly, it might just rub off on the rest of us. Perhaps every adult living in the United States should be required to enroll in a "Reality Workshop" so that they will have some idea of what it means to live within their personal income and not be ruled by greed and a feeling of entitlement. Maybe then we can begin to feel more hopeful about our situation, and President Obama can adopt a more optimistic tone in his future speeches.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  95. A Grumpy Old Man

    I hope the President says that Americans need food, shelter, healthcare and safety. I pray that he says America is big enough and strong enough to help the needy and the ill, elderly and handicapped. I want him to say that he has spoken to Finland, Sweden and Norway, Canada and even France and that he has decided that Capitalism tempered with Social Responsibility is not a bad thing but something USA will embrace. The Middle class and the Underclass will be recognised and receive the social services that they need.

    I also hope that he NEVER says "The fundamentals are strong"

    February 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  96. ken m.

    jack, the words i want to hear line item vetos, for all states and both parties, no pork , the pig came from china ,and its poisioned. i feel for the states who have senators who will not allow there state to get any of the help allowed to them , they will go with out the benifits they need to make it if possible, but there senstor says there not allowed to this becuase his party says its a way to break the president. tet they are filling there pockets on there pork bills they want passesd for those who front him. while you the public go without in your state goes with out becuase your senator and his party says so, you voted for them and there thinking of you. while others then will get the money you should of gotten, millions will suffer even more than they have to becuase of there senators.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  97. simonsays

    That he is going to personally write me a check. I paid my house off 2 years ago. Now he is giving money to people who were to stupid to figure out that they couldn't afford a house and should have stayed renters. If i just would have stopped paying I could now be getting a government handout and have it payed for by my fellow citizens.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  98. fred harris

    the presidedent needs to tell the truth as he see it and be optimistic on how he plans to fix our economy. He has the American people on his side, except maybe some repulicans that would rather see the country go under for a so called ideology. the president must keep the american people on his side. so he needs to keep that posture.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  99. Ike

    Obama needs to ask those of us who have secure jobs to go out and buy that new car or some other major purchase and take the kids on that vacation and just spend a little. He should also tell us that his government will not be sending our jobs overseas as easily as the last administration did. And he needs to not keep telling us how bad things are and point out the bright spots.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  100. Karen

    Here's what I don't want to hear: "too big to fail". What I'd like to hear is that any large company that has performed so badly that a) their failure has a negative systemic impact on the US economy, and b) they ask for government money to survive, needs to to broken up into smaller, more manegable components with new leaders. Remember how we broke up 'Ma Bell into baby Bells? How about a bunch of little AIG's? Break GM into it's components: Pontiac, Buick, etc. And while we at it, let's end the pain at Citigroup and give their business to smaller, better manage entitites.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  101. Darin in Denver

    Good or bad, we need the truth. American's are tired, scared and fed up – let's try some honesty.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  102. Linda in Arizona

    "Everything is going to be okay, boys and girls. Sleep tight."

    February 24, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  103. Kurt - Indianapolis

    Something hopeful, something promising , something real that will help us Americans under the age of 40 believe that the problems are not too large and can be overcome. I am 34 and married with 2 children. I am terrified by the state of the world be it economy, geo-politics, or climate change. I am looking for my generation's "Ask not what your country..." God knows the baby boomers blew their call to service all to hell.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  104. Dakota Don from Akra

    The unvarnished factual truth.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  105. Gretchen from Denver

    I hope he reminds us that WE are the country and as long as we help each other and work for a strong country we will be alright.

    It is not OK to have a bunch of sore loser Republicans and talk show idiots hoping for the country to fail...what planet are they on anyway?

    United we stand, divided we fall!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  106. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    He needs to let Americans know that our country will overcome this economic crisis, despite the stonewalling political ploys of the Republican party. Our nation is resiliant. Our nation is strong. He needs to remind all Americans that those who do not support the success of his vision, his plans, his agenda, is not the conduct of true Americans. All Americans must support this president, because to do otherwise, is un-American and un-patriotic. Those who cannot support President Obama, do not support our country or our troops.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  107. Artnell Martin

    Jack , President Obama should tell us when he is going to fix the immigration system so that all the undocumented people who has their money under their bed will be free to put it in the banks as soon as possible and help stimulate the economy.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  108. Leona


    I want to hear nothing but the facts. We are not children and we don't need a piece of candy to be quiet in public. Not to be a pessimist but, to be pragmatic - we all have to realize our credit card is past its limit and it is time to pay up.
    My Father alway said to us that to be balanced you should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. We don't need to be pampered. We have always lived in a Democratic society that payed our way by hard work and taxes. What has put us to sleep and made us think we are all going to get away free.
    Let us now go back to being honest not greedy,let us start saving not living on credit, and let us all be an active participant in understanding our own finances and consumer participation.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  109. Susanne

    what does the President think about Hershey moving its company to mexico during these hard economic times when americans need jobs?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  110. Brian


    It is absolutely true that we can't depend on government alone to create jobs or economic growth. That is and must be the role of the private sector. But at this particular moment, with the private sector so weakened by this recession, the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life.

    But back to the question: What do you want to hear from President Obama tonight? To speak the truth and to focus on winning back public confidence in government while addressing the current economic crisis. Outline a recovery plan that all Americans can understand and reiterate the fact that policy/legislation comes first and politics last.

    Brian in NC

    February 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  111. Conor in Chicago

    "Today American military forces apprehended Osama Bin Laden in a village in Pakistan just outside of Peshawar. No American forces were injured or killed but several Taliban militants were killed in the operation. Bin Laden is currently being detained at Bagram Air Force base and will be transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba within the next few days".

    Seriously Jack. Imagine how freaking cool that would be with all that is going on right now?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  112. Susan - Plano, TX

    America needs to Re-Define "Patriotism"...and it is time for us to be united as a nation to ight this economic mess together unselfishly.

    Every American should know that we are in a society.
    If your neighborhood does not do well, you live with fear.
    If other kids fail in school, they bring down your child's learning opportunities.
    This is the time for us to bring out the best from one another and work as borther and sister for our future generation's well being. Yes, we are all screwed from Bush, but here comes Obama to resue...

    February 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  113. C. Martin-Wood, Alabama

    I hope he speaks out for Social Responsibility from our government that will take care of our elderly and the poor. I want him to assure us that Social Security will be enhanced and that we will have Universal Healthcare. And I hope he will speak out against governors like Bob Riley (a Republican, of course), who says he is not going to accept the portion of the stimulus package that would extend unemployment payments in Alabama. He says there are "too many strings". How can Obama work to bring us out of this depression - and that's what it is - if the governors stand in his way?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  114. David in Natchez,MS

    I would like to hear him say, "In an effort to conserve energy I will stay in the White House,off the television and media circuit and do some work."

    February 24, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  115. Tim in Texas

    Obama figures out what to say and how to say it better than just about anybody that I've ever heard. I don't need to tell him what I want to hear. I need to listen to him and I'm pretty confident that he'll say exactly what I need to hear. He got my vote and he has my trust.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  116. Rob in Boulder

    He needs to convince us that he really knows what to do and why it will work. So far he seems to be just winging it.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  117. Jasmine, Marburg Germany

    Obama's going to speak about all the points you made in your blog, Jack, and I'm glad about that. He might even bring to our attention that the crime and poverty rate in the US is much too high. This man is a mover and shaker and he currently has the most difficult job in the world that I can think of due to the mentality of many of the people in power during the past generation: regulators ("don't wanna step on those toes"), politicians ("as long as I get re-elected"), and business leaders ("as long as I continue to get richer"). Obama recognizes problems in our country and will address them. Hey Jack, are you one of his advisers?

    February 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  118. roger in ga

    I want to hear him say that Republicans are packing up to move to the Western White House in Texas with Former President G.W. Bush. I want to hear him say that for balance, they will be taking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her attitude, Senator Harry Reid, Rep. Barney Frank and Senator Dodd with them so we can get on with the business of repairing the damage done by past administrations.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  119. Milton Platt

    I just want to hear the truth spoken plainly. No political spin. Be truly correct instead of politically correct

    February 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  120. Kyle W.

    I'd like to hear him come out and finally say that he does not have a clue to what he is doing. Being in the senate for one year and the only thing he did was campain does not qualify him to be president. Then I think he should step down before he drags us down even farther. I think high school presidents know more than him.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  121. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    I've had enought of his fear mongering on the economy. I think I'll watch a movie.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  122. Michael

    I want to hear how $800 a year tax cut is going to help me much and why it was decreased from his campaign promise of $1000 to $800. Looks like to me he took my $200 and spent it on corporate bailouts or big government spending. I guess I know now how much Obama REALLY cares about the middle class.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  123. joseph jacir, chapel hill NC

    I would like him to tell the Americans to revert to the good old habits of our grandfathers ....The habits of saving to buy when you need anything....and to throw away all credit cards...and to save for the downpayment of a new house......In essence live within our means.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  124. Pete S Dunedin FL

    After his first month in office Obama owns, the economy , as well as the war in Afganistan and the safety of the country. He has done whatever he has wanted and said whatever he has wanted except something that has brought us all together. I hope he has something that gets us working together,

    February 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  125. John

    I'm a smart guy.

    I'm not smarter then he is. I'm not going to try to put words in his mouth.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  126. Kaethe Parker - Naples, FL

    I really want to hear what he's going to do about job creation and healthcare. I can't believe there are still employers out there offering $10 per hour jobs – NO ONE can make a living on that what with rent, mortgages, food, insurances and other essentials. Factor in healthcare (if it's offered) and you're making $7 an hour – maybe. Our hourly wage in this country is deplorable – the rich get richer because of greed and the middle class American (of which there aren't many of us left) is left holding the bag. It saddens me as an American that my children have to give up healthcare costs to make the rent, car payment and grocery bill. So sad........

    February 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  127. Chuck, Dayton, OH

    That we're finally going to quit giving tax breaks to people who don't pay taxes.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  128. Constance Soule

    Unions is what would be the saving grace to our country. Why do you think CEO's get paid so much and the workers get paid so little, no unions! Obviously, you did not read about the sitdown strike in Flint, Michigan back in the 30's. You would be glad to belong to a union.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  129. Mully

    Here is what I want to hear: bank nationalization, immediate pull-out of Iraq, investigations of former White House cabinet members and staff, temporary forced government overhaul of auto industry, shut down of Guantanamo, and more stimulus money spent on education and energy dependence.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  130. debbie vitro

    That things are going to get better. That, instead of sending the banks the money, they're going to send each american $250,000 and we will stimulate the economy ourselves. I would like to hear that everyone's mortgage is going to be automatically reset to 4% and if you can make it on that, then fine, if you can't then you will have to lose your house but that would free up a lot of money for citizens to stimulate the economy.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  131. Julie

    That they have changed their minds and are not going to waste a bunch of money that we do not have on new programs that expand government and do nothing for the private sector! Not going to happen though.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  132. Michele

    Obama has a presence that has few high's and lows but is a steady voice at the helm. I think that he'll provide comfort to the American people.

    However, I must comment that Jindal and his colleagues need to be quiet and do what's right at this moment. They had 8 years to get it right – it seems ironic for them to be discussing fiscal responsibility and how tax breaks will save us. They did that, it failed. God gave them 2 ears and one mouth and it's time for them to LISTEN – Listen to the American people who overwhelmingly said they've had enough and that it is time for a new philosophy.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  133. PJG

    As much positive rhetoric as possible. The nation needs to hear positive right now.....just to appease them and stop the fear, disgust, disgruntlement, depression, anger, etc., etc.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  134. Jackie

    I want the President to say: " Snap out of it! I'm trying to clean up the mess left by 12 years of Republican rule and after only 30 days I'm off to a darn good start. Too bad all you 'know-it-all' pundits and Republicans telling me what to do now weren't around to scrutinize and help the Bush administration out. Maybe we wouldn't be here.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  135. Rufus

    "My administration is going to build the largest tent city in the world to house the homeless and unemployed. It will be located in and around Crawford, Texas."

    February 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  136. Jeannie Newman

    President Obama needs to step up and tell the truth to the
    American people about what happened, why it happened and who or what was specifically responsible for our economic mess.

    Tell us where to place the blame.

    Then tell us how it is going to be fixed, who is going to suffer the most, when the CEO fat cats are going to be forced to stop running rough-shod over the middle class.

    Make us understand and be hopeful again. Because hope at this point is about all we have to hang on to.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  137. Maureen - NC

    How about not saying anything about the Nov 08 election?
    I'd like to hear details on how we are going to dig ourselves out of this economic mess.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  138. Sam

    He should just say I am going to spend your money on pork and CEO's, so I can raise your taxes

    February 24, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  139. Earl - Reading, PA

    Jack - Since 2002, 75% of the Growth ( the WEALTH ) created in the US has gone to the upper 1% – yes the upper 1% - So I want President Obama to say that he intends to immediatly reverse this so that all Americans can enjoy the fruits of Capitalsim and not just the very few.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  140. Chris

    I would like to hear that the border with Mexico has been secured and the criminals who crossed our borders are being sent home. They can work in their own country for the U.S. companies who closed factories here sent our jobs there years ago (Levi, Timberland, etc).

    They can take the children we paid for them to birth here home as a free gift. Since they were born here, we'll still have to send their support checks back over the border to them. However, it will be cheaper for us in the long run and those checks will help them live better south of the border than they would have here.

    I would like to return to the days when English was the native language and china was something brought out for special occasions.

    Norton, VA

    February 24, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  141. Mary, Texas

    How about the next stimulus package is going to the American people so they can buy the cars the auto makers got billions for, so the American people can to the banks and get loans from the money the American people gave them, so that the American people can all feel like they got some kinda bonus just like the big CEO'S did. Heck, we may even have enough to all buy us a corporate jet

    February 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  142. Bob

    I would like the President to say the following:
    1. We are in tough times but it will get better if we work together and help each other
    2. The rest of the world is in the same boat as us. We the global community have to solve this together.
    3. There is a lot each of you and our government can do to make this work. Take pride in yourself, help your less fortunate neighbor and volunteer in your community, town, city.
    4. Hold me, my staff, the congress and the senate accountable for working together. This is not a time for liberal democrats and conservative republicans to continue bickering about the way forward. Each of the groups and those in the middle have to roll up their sleeves and come up with a unified solution.
    5. We have to stabilize our financial, banking, primary industries and effectively deal with the foreclosure crisis.
    6. Stop finger pointing and get over the race issue now. Our soldiers at war and they do not see color. They see the enemy who wants to kill them. We need to act as one and not as special interest groups.

    There's more but that's enough

    February 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  143. Subhash

    President should give an exact picture of what has happened ,how it has happened and what he is going to do to change all this

    February 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  144. Carol

    I would like President Obama to reaffirm his campaign promise to go over the federal budget LINE BY LINE. If a budget item doesn't meet our current priorities of protecting our citizens, creating jobs, bringing home the troops and stabilizing the economy, those programs need to be cut or put on hold. In our house we address priorities first and extras last. I expect nothing less from my government.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |