Obama Describes Alternative Vision For US

By elevating the debate about deficits to the issue of the contrasting visions between the two political parties, President Obama not only took the high ground in the debates that will follow but focused the discussion on the real question at stake, which is what "civic ethos" the country wants to follow in this century.

In our forthcoming book, Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation is Remaking America, we point out that the civic ethos the president described -- synthesizing both individual responsibility and support for the entire community -- is much more likely to attract support from younger and minority voters who will be the key to the president's reelection effort. His speech, therefore, was both good policy and good politics.