In recent weeks, President Obama has taken a critical attitude toward the nation's competitive spirit:
Remarks at APEC summit, Honolulu, November 12, 2011:
But we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted -- well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America.
The way I think about it is, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades.
The president took a different tack at the start of his term, however.
Remarks in Newton, Iowa, April 22, 2009:
So the implication in this argument is that we've somehow lost something important -- that perhaps because of the very prosperity we've built over the course of generations, that we've given up that fighting American spirit, that sense of optimism, that willingness to tackle tough challenges, that determination to see those challenges to the end, the notion that we've gotten soft somehow.
I reject that argument.