The economy is anemic and teetering, millions of people are unemployed and the future doesn't look especially bright, which is exactly why the Republicans need to be upbeat, optimistic and encouraging. Obama believes the United States is not an exceptional country and apparently has little faith in Americans. He sees America as a country in permanent decline and thinks our best days are behind us. If a Republican candidate will get up and speak of the exceptional nature of our great country and its people, offer a plan to get us back on track as the world leader we still are and bring hope to people, it will be a wonderful contrast to the pessimistic scolding of Barack Obama. Don't focus on "shared sacrifice" or austerity; put the spotlight on how we can pull ourselves out of the doldrums in which we find ourselves. Obama seems content to settle for living in those doldrums. I, for one, am not.