I was disappointed by Obama’s performance — I’m not making any excuses here, I don’t think he did a good job. So I’ve been trying to think about what he should have said. Here’s how I think he should have started. He should have said, "There’s going to be a lot of criticism tonight of my economic policy, because there are still a lot of economic problems, particularly too much unemployment. But here’s what you should keep in mind when you evaluate the economic and my policies. When I came to office we were in the middle of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. There was a general state of panic in the country. The stock market lost (however much it lost) and there were (however many it was) jobs being lost every month. Almost all economists were agreed that we were facing a crisis which threatened the economic structure of the entire world. The crisis was so great that my opponent in the election announced that he was suspending his campaign. The crisis was so great that conservative politicians in desperation turned to bail-out plan that were completely contrary to their long-standing positions. There was no way to tell at that time how long the crisis would last or how much damage would occur. Today the economy still needs improvement, but instead of a stock market in free-fall, we have a recovery in the market, a recovery which benefits everyone who has any stake in the market, including most people with pensions. Instead of a job market that was loosing x number of jobs per month, we have seen gains that are, I admit, too small, but nonetheless steady. The automobile market has recovered, and the housing market is beginning to improve. The economy is not as good as it should be, but it is much better than it could have been, much better than most people feared it would be. It would be wrong for me to take more credit than I deserve for the improvement — the American people as a whole deserve the credit. But I do believe, and I will maintain this point with all the energy I have, that the crisis was at least partly caused by conservative economic policies. These conservative policies failed our economy and our nation, but these are the policies my opponent wants to return to. If we can at all learn from the past, then this is the lesson we must learn, that a return to these failed policies will sooner or later return us once again to the kind of crisis we so narrowly avoided four years ago.