In July of 1979, President Jimmy Carter gave what was arguably the most important speech of his presidency, one in which he expressed the notion that the United States was facing a crisis in confidence and, though he never used the word itself, it became widely know as the “malaise” speech.

At first, the speech was hailed, and Carter received a bump in his approval ratings. However, the lack of effort in fixing what ailed the nation, perceived or real, saw public opinion sour further on the Carter administration. A little more than a year later, he was soundly beaten by Ronald Reagan.

The malaise speech hung around Carter’s neck like an anchor, and here’s where comparisons to Obama’s speech last night come to light.


Obama’s speech last night certainly will not give him a boost in his approval ratings. What I saw last night was either a man who does not have answers or does not care. Now, I’m going to go out on a limb and eliminate not caring, though I’m sure there are a few of you who will argue otherwise. Therefore President Obama just does not have an answer to this problem.

He should have come across as an angry, passionate leader last night. Instead, he came off as someone who cannot see the way out. This speech has all the characteristics of hanging on him like Carter’s did.

The current malaise of the Barack Obama administration is pulling the nation down with it, and if it continues, the story of President Barack Obama can very easily come to an end eerily similar to that of President James Earl Carter, Jr.

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