After begging for substance, the press obsesses over trees and Cadillacs.

Larry Kudlow liked the substance he heard. “The language is crucial: ‘By reducing the tax on the next dollar of income earned by all taxpayers, we will encourage hard work, risk-taking, and productivity by allowing Americans to keep more of what they earn.’ This is supply-side language. It is incentive language.”

The substance of Mitt Romney’s attack on Rick Santorum: The former senator is full of himself, light on courage.

There is zero substance to the Obama administration’s rhetoric on Syria. And surely Israel notices: “As Israelis consider their options and face a future in which Iran builds a nuclear weapon, threatens them, or attacks them, they cannot be much reassured by the Tunis conference and the refusal to help Syrians defend themselves. They must wonder if some day they will hear an American secretary of state saying of them that ‘they will, from somewhere, somehow, find the means to defend themselves ….’ and ‘world opinion is not going to stand idly by’ while they are under attack.”

The substance of Romney’s critique of the auto bailout is correct. “The point is that the auto bailout isn’t an example of enlightened government revitalizing an industry after a market failure. It is a bailout in the wake of failed government policies and bad management that may keep going and going as Washington does whatever it takes to make sure Detroit keeps doing its political bidding.” Even Steve Rattner admitted: “We didn’t ask any active worker to cut his or her pay, we didn’t ask them to sacrifice any of their pension and we maybe could have asked them to do a little bit more.”

Santorum’s big economic speech on Friday lacked substance — and a crowd. “Rick Santorum was scheduled to deliver a ‘major’ address at the Knights of Columbus . . . , but instead, the former Pennsylvania senator regurgitated his campaign stump speech. Santorum drew fewer than 100 people — 10 of them nuns from Ann Arbor — for the 55-minute economic speech, which quickly veered to a discourse on family values.”

There is usually some substance to his claims (e.g., colleges have leftist faculty). But when he talks, he sounds nutters. “I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college, because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely … The indoctrination that is going on at the university level is a harm to our country.”

The substance of Obama’s Iraq policy was political — get the troops out to claim success. In reality Iraq is now imploding, and al-Qaeda is on the march. “A spokesman for al-Qaida in Iraq said Friday that a Sunni Muslim war against Shiites in Iraq is inevitable and threatened relentless waves of attacks like the one a day earlier that killed at least 55 people. The statement by Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, spokesman for the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq, tap into fears in Iraq and abroad about the country’s future stability and the government’s ability to protect its citizens following the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops in December.” If not for Iran, this would be Obama’s worse foreign policy debacle.