At some level it is comical. We have a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, have spent trillions (between the Bush and Obama administrations) in stimulus money, have near-zero interest rates, and he wants to spend another $300 billion in money we don’t have to “create” jobs.

In a real sense he comes across as less on top of it than either of the two GOP front-runners. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney both have a coherent vision (pretty much the same one, actually): Lower taxes, reduce spending, lighten regulation, open up trade and encourage rather than bash the private sector.

By contrast, the defining characteristic of Obama’s approach is now confusion. What he has tried hasn’t worked, so he’ll do more of the same? . . . He’s not really fooling anyone. This is a political speech intended to lay the foundation for “Congress won’t cooperate with me” excuse- mongering. But frankly, the public doesn’t want more boondoggle spending either. They have lost confidence in his ability to manage the economy, and telling us his hands are tied by those ornery Republicans is hardly going to boost confidence that he can get things done.