Here is House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in an interview today with the Wall Street Journal:
People are tired of the pain. They want to be given some hope. I think that sensible prudent fiscal management will be a foundation for that. We need to lay out a vision for how America can lead again, for how our young people, our students coming through school now, will have the opportunities that we have, and to make sure that we will be able to innovate, and compete in this country. Those are the real themes politically that will be most prominent as we go towards November ’12.
Here is President Barack Obama in his 2011 State of the Union:
We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future.
One of the great ironies of the last several weeks in Washington is that both parties have been reading the same polls. They know what the American people want to hear, a sense of hope, that can-do attitude that America has long embraced at the center of the national narrative. Yet the policy differences about how to fulfill this desire are so far apart that the effect is just the opposite. The nation’s political leaders, rather than lay out a vision for how America can lead again, have demonstrated both domestically and internationally how little hope there is for clear leadership anytime soon. Partisan interests have trumped the common good.
But that won’t stop either side from speaking in the same broad terms about the way forward.