Obama Should Be Confident About State of the Union

Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011 02:03 PM

By Jon Friedman

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What will President Barack Obama tell the nation? What does he truly believe?

By all accounts, especially the blessed opinion polls that count for so much, Obama has rebounded brilliantly from the doldrums that infested the White House during much of his first two years in residence. Perhaps the president was biding his time and waiting for an ample opportunity to show what he is made of. I'd like to think that was the case — and not that he was in over his head for a while and reacting as if he was in some sort of stupor.

It doesn't matter any more. The president is looking and acting rejuvenated. He is totally engaged. It's reassuring to see him so animated.

President Obama should feel good about the state of the nation. The economy is slowly edging back to good health. The nation rallied impressively in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, heeding Obama's pleas to put aside acrimony in politics and pull together as Americans.

President Obama is clearly back in campaign mode. He is smiling confidently — even, dare I say it, audaciously. It is as if he does believe his own rhetoric that all is well in the United States.

He must be feeling strong right now. He looks across the political aisle and sees a group of pretenders masquerading as contenders to his throne. It must be hard for Obama not to be feeling a tad overconfident these days.

You can't blame him, either. Of course, this is exactly when politicians tend to get themselves in hot water — when hubris sets in.

The president would be wise to remain optimistic. But he shouldn't believe the press clippings, just yet.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.

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