President Obama, middle man

President Obama referred to it as a “Sputnik moment.”

Actually, the State of the Union speech struck me as more of a “Clinton Moment.”

The president seems to be taking a page from the former president’s playbook.

Bill Clinton saw Democrats get clobbered in the mid-term elections in his first term. He saw the nation rallying around New Gingrich and his Republican pals and their “Contract With America.” Clinton’s poll numbers were in the toilet.

What to do? Swim furiously to the middle. It worked. And it looks like President Obama is taking much the same path.

Ever since his “shellacking” in the November vote, the president has been preaching cooperation.

Last night he went so far as to announce spending freezes. And he continue his push for more civility in political discussions.

In the audience, many Republicans and Democrats sat side by side, including Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey Jr. and Pat Toomey.

The president, whose poll numbers have been buoyed in recent weeks, not surprisingly since he has adopted this new tone, urged those in attendance, and in fact the nation, to come together.

“We will move forward together or not at all.”

That’s a lot easier said when you’re standing in the middle, as the president is quickly learning.