Regarding Obama’s indirect reference to the US economic decline, Williams said, “That was a very carefully crafted speech because he was, on the one hand, playing to the old American gallery of exceptionalism: we are wonderful people, we can do it… and on the other hand, he was warning that decline is heading up so they have to turn around and do something about it…”
He then called for a return to the American traditions of innovation and risk-taking to keep up with the rising powers from the East.
Williams pointed out the US president’s decision to leaving out some issues.
“He was very careful on the issues that he missed out on. He didn’t mention foreclosures; he certainly didn’t mention the Israel/Palestine issue. I think a lot of what he was saying was really a careful case of entrapment for Republicans,” he said.
During his nationally televised speech, Obama urged rival politicians in the Republican and the Democratic camps to ditch partisanship for a unified push for a better future.
On Tunisia, Williams noted Obama’s failure to mention his country’s support of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the anti-government protests taking place in Egypt, for that matter.
“So it is usual for them, mentioning items they look upon favorably and ignoring those that they don’t,” Williams said.