In 1936, Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered an important campaign speech in Madison Square Garden, saying among other things:
For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent. […]
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me‹and I welcome their hatred.
For some time now, I think many progressives have been waiting to hear something similar from Barack Obama. And in today's edition of the weekly YouTube address, I think we get something like it. Talking about a budget that will cut taxes for most families while raising them on a few, increasing federal aid to college students while reducing federal aid to private sector student loan writers, and boost health care coverage while reducing subsidies to health insurance firms, Obama says:
I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: So am I. The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don't. I work for the American people. I didn't come here to do the same thing we've been doing or to take small steps forward, I came to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November.
I'm not sure whether or not this kind of feisty presidential rhetoric and leadership is actually as decisive as some liberals think, but it is nice to hear.