I watched that speech. That was 20 minutes I would have rather have spent with my proctologist...and he's blind and has cold, clammy hands... hand, really, as the other one is just a hook.
It basically can be summed up:
1. Hey, we're leaving Iraq! We won! And I (Barack Obama, Saviour of the Universe) am making sure the moment is properly recorded for posterity so that, one day, the history books can be forged in such a way by legions of brain-dead liberal historians as to present My August Personage as a successful war-time president.
2. I am now focused on the economy, free of the distraction of Iraq. Boy, if you thought I was focused before, well, you just watch me focus now! I mentioned the Middle Class! I used the word "investment"! Just imagine what I could do about that Economy when I'm really, really focused on it! I've repeated the Bill Clinton mantra about people working harder for less-and-less; it worked for him, by all rights it should work for me, too!
P.S. I'm already thinking of fascinating ways to spend the money (i.e. find even more ridiculous ways to waste it by giving reparations to the Brothas an' Sistahs, under the guise of "investments") "saved" by ceasing "combat operations" which were light on actual combat, but pretty heavy on wasting money to build outhouses and bring electricity to people maybe one-generation removed from hunter-gather status... who will fucking still hate us anyways.
3. I mentioned George Bush in a way that gave him (slight) credit for something...anything. So now you republicans can shut the fuck up about me being ungracious and blaming George Bush for everything from the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, to simple chronic halitosis, to a sputtering economy. I said something nice about him, see? I can be bi-partisan and unideological, even if I looked as if I were about to choke while I said it.
I doubt very many people actually watched that speech. Tomorrow, when it's remarked about how few people actually did watch, it will be spun that one can't expect a huge television audience on a Tuesday night in Prime-Time.
In any case, it was wholly unnecessary.
Primarily this will be because no one actually gives a crap about anything Obama has to say,anymore. Most folks automatically assume that if Obama's lips are moving, he's lying, or blaming George Bush for something, or spouting glaring contradictions three or four times per paragraph. People are sick and tired of hearing Barack Obama speak, on any subject, at any time.
The only thing I got out of that speech was....a strange wave of nostalgia for Jimmy Carter. I immediately had a belt, and then went out to the shed to flagellate myself.
This speech was the swan song of a failed Administration. We just haven't realized it yet.