First, mentioning John Boehner, Obama said he was still open to a grand compromise on Social Security and Medicare.
Second, he took a gratuitous swipe at universal single-payer health care. Sounding like Ronald Reagan, he said, “I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.” As an illustration, he said, “That’s why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a Government program.” Huh? He used to say he was for single-payer universal health care. Then, when he was running for President the first time, he said, “If I were starting from scratch,” I’d be for single-payer universal health care. Now he disparages it to score cheap political points.
Third, he was belligerent on Iran, saying (to raucous applause) that he would take “no options off the table.”
Fourth, he said that America is a “Pacific power,” a new doctrine aimed recklessly at China.
Fifth, sounding a bit too much like George W. Bush, he boasted that the United States is the “one indispensable nation in world affairs—and as long as I’m President, I intend to keep it that way.”
This last was cheap jingoism that the American people really could have lived without.