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Obama radio address: OK with stimulus scrutiny - but hurry up and pass it!

By Jimmy Orr / February 7, 2009

Pushing his economic stimulus package in his weekly radio address, President Obama said, "We can't rely on a losing formula that offers only tax cuts as the answer to all our problems while ignoring our fundamental economic challenges."

Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS

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President Obama is kind of a like a well-known song. The kind of song that you only need to hear a few notes from to know what it is.

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For example, three power chords are all you need to hear from this song to name it. This one as well - only three notes and you recognize it. This song, you need four notes but it is unmistakable.

Doom

Likewise, when you hear the president use certain words, you know what he's talking about.

In today's weekly radio address, there were immediate clues that the topic would be the economic stimulus package.

It only took Obama four words before he said "devastating." And 11 words before he said "crisis."

But a full 193 words before "catastrophe" was spoken. (Armageddon and annihilation were not mentioned).

Whether you agree with the president or not, he stays on message. So today's theme certainly wasn't a surprise to anyone.

I won

Familiar points were made today - like the fact that he won the election. Although he's not as pointed on this as in the past.

"In the midst of our greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the American people were hoping that Congress would begin to confront the great challenges we face. That was, after all, what last November's election was all about," he said.

Scrutiny OK

Although this past week he was clearly annoyed that the stimulus bill had some opposition (every Republican and 11 Democrats), this morning he said a bill of this magnitude deserved the scrutiny it's received - to a point.

"We can't afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary," he said. "The scale and scope of this plan is right. And the time for action is now."

Why the change of heart? If you went to bed early last night, the Senate struck a deal (you can read about it here). Three Republicans have agreed to support the latest rendition of the package.

Tired old theories

Much like he's done for the past couple weeks, he repeated the charge that the past ways of doing business are disastrous.

"We can't expect relief from the tired old theories that, in eight short years, doubled the national debt, threw our economy into a tailspin, and led us into this mess in the first place," he said. "We can't rely on a losing formula that offers only tax cuts as the answer to all our problems while ignoring our fundamental economic challenges – the crushing cost of health care or the inadequate state of so many schools; our addiction to foreign oil or our crumbling roads, bridges, and levees."

The president spent the rest of the address discussing the benefits of the legislation specifically mentioning job creation numbers for the states of Indiana and Maine -- Maine, the home to Senator Susan Collins who's agreed to the package, and Indiana, the home to Republican Senator Dick Lugar who's a target for pickup.

The full video of today's address is below.

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