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In Post-Speech Afterglow, Obama Lays Out Regulatory Reform Principles

Jindal v. Obama continues to dominate the storyline, on a day when the reviews for each were so strong that the White House has little incentive to change the story.

As mockery poured in from all partisan corners, here’s what happened to Bobby Jindal-for-President in 2012 on Intrade after reaction to his speech last night:

Meanwhile, polling reaction to Obama’s speech was as good as the White House could have hoped for: CBS News showed a 17% bump, from 63% before the speech to 80% after the speech. Additionally, Obama gained a 15% bump in respondents who believed Obama’s economic plans would help them personally, from 36% to 51%.

The post-speech CNN/Opinion Research poll concurred. 68% of viewers reacted to the speech “very positively,” 24% reacted “somewhat positively,” and 8% negatively.

Today, Obama sought to parlay the afterglow of a strong previous evening into his layout of principles on regulatory reform. In remarks, Obama disputed what he argued was a false choice characterized by much of the debate that has dominated the “nationalization” discussion.

The choice we face is not between some oppressive government-run economy or a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism. Rather, strong financial markets require clear rules of the road, not to hinder financial institutions, but to protect consumers and investors, and ultimately to keep those financial institutions strong. Not to stifle, but to advance competition, growth and prosperity. And not just to manage crises, but to prevent crises from happening in the first place, by restoring accountability, transparency and trust in our financial markets.

While eschewing specifics (like the budget, this is a week of “stay tuned”), the seven principles on regulatory reform Obama outlined in remarks this afternoon were:

1. The big financial institutions that can have systemic impact if they fail need strict regulatory oversight.

2. Modernizing and streamlining the regulatory structure to strengthen the markets.

3. Openness and transparency lead to trust in the markets.

4. Strong and uniform supervision for financial products based on actual data rather than abstract bank-created models.

5. Strict accountability for executives.

6. Comprehensive, loophole-free application of regulation.

7. Challenging other countries to adopt similar high regulation standards so their crises don’t virally hurt the global economy.

In testimony to the House Financial Services Committee, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke continued to push back on “nationalization” as he saw it: “Nationalization, to my mind, is when government seizes the banks, zeros out the shareholders and begins to manage and run the bank, and we don’t plan anything like that.”

Last week, knowing that the markets were taking the measure of every carefully-parsed word, Robert Gibbs took tremendous care in his language on the subject. Today, Bernanke’s attempt to define “nationalization” as “seiz(ing)” banks and “zeroing out” shareholders, as well as Obama’s pushback on unhelpfully caricatured language (“oppressive government-run economy” vs. “chaotic and unforgiving capitalism”), clearly signals that as we move into further and further specifics, the White House is sensitive to and even worried about letting the terms of the debate get away from them.

Where we go tomorrow — as details begin emerging over the next 12-18 hours on budget specifics (the wire services are upstairs in a bloc getting the embargoed scoop), you should anticipate Republicans eager to put the Jindal black eye behind them and onto a redux of picking out projects and screaming “pork!”

The big question. Will any Republicans see the way the public has reacted to Obama versus their caucus on the stimulus debate, the reactions to the speeches last night, and will those lessons inspire any have a change of heart (dose of sanity) on throwing Obama some support?