Obama to base: "Continue to fight"


Tosca in North Beach was packed last night for the State of the Union watch party that was thrown by Organizing for America, President Barack Obama’s grassroots organizing operation, and the crowd was predictably supportive of the president despite his political difficulties and declining popularity.

Karen Buchanan -- who volunteered on Obama’s presidential campaign and has continued to do so since then, including phone banking to support his health care reform effort – responded positively to the speech’s call for renewed activism, even though she was less than thrilled with some of Obama’s policy prescriptions.

“I don’t agree with him 100 percent, but I’m not going to join the circular firing squad. I continue to support him,” Buchanan said. “He had a nice tone of optimism and we needed that.”

That may be true. Obama’s poignant call for the country’s political, corporate, and media institutions to make strong, good faith efforts to regain the public’s trust was the emotional high point of this speech. But unfortunately, Obama’s muddled and often contradictory policy priorities are frustrating to progressives who have been turning away from this president.