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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Countdown to State of the Union Address;

VZCZCXYZ0221
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0070/01 0262101
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 262059Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0367
INFO RHMCSUU/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000070

SIPDIS
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC, WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KPAO KMDR PREL AR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: COUNTDOWN TO STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS;
1/23-26/10; BUENOS AIRES

SUMMARY

-------

1. Argentine newspapers are reporting growing expectations over
President Obama's State of the Union address, portraying it as an
effort to regain political momentum and regain initiative. Despite
one opinion article critical of U.S. foreign policy in Latin
America, the speech is expected to concentrate on U.S. domestic
policy without significant changes in foreign policy. Most media
also focuses on the recent Democratic defeat in the Massachusetts
Senate election and its impact on the President's political
ambitions. End summary.

CRITICAL OF U.S. LATIN AMERICAN POLICY

--------------------------------------

2. Leading circulation daily Clarin published an opinion article
(1/24) noting that President Obama's foreign policy view toward
Latin America is based on a homogenous view of the continent,
creating blanket foreign policy for all. It also says the U.S.
Government has failed to address the needs of the region, while
focusing primarily on world affairs. Clarin's analyst claims the
region is disappointed at President Obama for failing to keep his
promise of multilateralism at the Summit of the Americas in April
2009. The U.S. misconception of the region and its desire to talk
only with world powers (such as China), or regional power players
(such as Mexico and Brazil) when U.S. or world interests are at
stake is leading to "diplomatic errors." Among those errors,
Clarin's journalist singles out remarks made by Assistant Secretary
of State Arturo Valenzuela, when he referred to "legal
uncertainties" in Argentina, sparking criticism from the Argentine
authorities.

http://www.clarin.com/diario/2010/01/24/opini on/o-02126070.htm

STATE OF THE UNION PREVIEW

--------------------------

3. Pagina 12, Clarin, and second-largest daily La Nacion (1/26)
reported that the President's will talk about helping the middle
class with a series of new relief measures, about shrinking the
federal budget deficit, and about creating public programs reducing
unemployment during the State of the Union address. Clarin's
Washington correspondent framed these ideas as part of the
President's adoption of former President Clinton's "triangulation"
approach to win back public support from the Republicans, while La
Nacion's correspondent wrote about the President's new title of
"populist," which will be a theme of the address. Additionally,
the Pagina 12 and Clarin articles mentioned President Obama's
previous hope to have health care reform passed before the State of
the Union address and the uproar in the Democratic Party's radical
wing that President Obama was too cautious when Democrats had 60
seats in the Senate.

http://www.clarin.com/diario/2010/01/26/elmun do/i-02127319.htm

http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/elmundo/4-1 39042-2010-01-26.html

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1 225977

4. On January 25, Clarin reported on President Obama's recent
setbacks, including the Republican victory in the Massachusetts
Senate election, and how this might affect the President's
political ambitions. The article reports that President Obama is
planning to focus his speech on job creation and the difficulties
facing the middle class. Clarin's correspondent in Washington
highlights the President's recent promises to step up efforts to
defend the "original agenda" of his administration in a move to
"reconnect himself with the Democratic Party's disillusioned base."
In addition, Clarin discusses the impact the "Tea Parties" will
have on the upcoming Mid-Term elections, drawing parallels to Newt


Gingrich's 1994 revolution and the possible danger it has for
President Obama.

http://www.clarin.com/diario/2010/01/25/elmun do/i-02126527.htm

5. La Nacion's Washington correspondent wrote an opinion article
(1/26) saying President Obama's new strategy targeting the American
middle class will be the dominant theme of the State of the Union
Address. The opinion states that the President should try to
recapture the magic of his election by "feeling the same pain" as
voters, former President Clinton's famous phrase. La Nacion's
correspondent believes that President Obama's "populist" State of
the Union address could "seal the style and mark of his
presidency."

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1 225982

6. State-owned Telam on January 26 released a news wire detailing
talking points President Obama expects to discuss during his State
of the Union speech. Telam notes that the President will request
Congress to increase funding for various public programs that
"could only increase inflation." In addition, Telam writes that
President Obama will address one of the main worries for both
Republicans and Democrats: the "runaway government deficit."
Finally, Telam writes that the President will introduce other new
measures regarding the economy that should be "relatively easy to
approve" by Congress, as opposed to the President's health care
reform and climate change laws.

http://www.telam.com.ar/vernota.php?tipo=N

&idPub=175680&id=337587

CHALLENGES AT HOME

------------------

7. A Clarin editorial (1/26) describing how hopes of change and
progress President Obama brought with him have collided with
political obstacles over the past year, leading the President to
not have succeeded in reaching his goals. While at first the
President had large support bases in the United States and abroad,
the editorial suggests President Obama must reflect on his fall in
popularity and the electoral reversal in Massachusetts and
reevaluate himself.

http://www.clarin.com/diario/2010/01/26/opini on/o-02127193.htm

8. La Nacion published an opinion article (1/25) headlined "Three
elections with world impact," one of which is the Massachusetts
Senate election. The author believes the election shows "voters'
dissatisfaction with the country's direction" and President Obama's
administration's activism and health care reform. Proof cited
includes a poll showing 65% of Senator Brown's voters chose him as
a way to express their opposition towards the President's agenda.

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1 225618

9. On January 23, La Nacion's U.S. correspondent wrote an article
about the "power war" inside the White House for President Obama's
advisors to see who can get the President to reconnect with the
country's voters soonest. While it is unthinkable, according to
the correspondent, the fashionable term right now is "populism,"
and includes the President's assault against the banking system.
Even though Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said this "may not
be the right thing to do," he changed his mind after Paul Volcker,
former Fed Chairman, proclaimed "fight, fight, fight" against the
banks. Now, in an about-face, Geithner considers himself a
populist.

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1 225130


10. On January 25, financial newspaper Ambito Financiero,
pro-government Pagina 12, and La Nacion printed articles stating
that after the loss in the Massachusetts Senate election, President
Obama has asked his former campaign manager David Plouffe to come
back and be part of his consulting team. Plouffe's job will be to
"design political strategies with the Congressional elections in
mind" and to give President Obama "a powerful defender within the
political machine."

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1 225543

http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/elmundo/4-1 39012-2010-01-25.html

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our

classified website at:


http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires
MARTINEZ

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