By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – I listened carefully Tuesday night to both the governor’s state of the state speech and the president’s State of the Union address, and what I heard was two good men trying their best to put a positive spin on policies that have had, at best, mixed success.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

What I didn’t hear in either speech was the same thing I never hear in major political speeches – any real acknowledgement that the speaker and his or her party do not have the market cornered on solutions to our problems, or any persuasive commitment to reaching outside their political comfort-zone to find those answers.

Let’s focus on improving the economy, which the pols always say they are focused on like a laser. But that’s not true, because an intense concentration of light on our economic problems would reveal the need to do what these folks almost never do.

There was all sorts of lip-service paid by Tuesday night’s speakers to unemployment, but an honest understanding of why businesses have been reluctant to invest their pent-up capital would have to acknowledge the truth in what some Republicans argue, that uncertainty over taxes and government mandates stifles job creation, a problem made more severe by the portability of capital in the global economy.

But conservatives have a big-time blind spot too, in refusing to acknowledge government’s valid role in our economy, and in defending the private sector against valid criticism of its excesses, including recklessness and greed.

Somewhere in-between these competing visions of reality and economic growth lie the answers we need.

It feels like we’re still waiting for leaders who can leave ego, ideology and partisanship behind and go find them.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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