I'm inclined to agree with Jonathan Bernstein's view on the spending freeze: "small-bore gimmick that's unlikely to make much of a difference either way." And so you won't catch me thinking too much about it. Though I wish Obama had included the defense stuff within the scope of the freeze, so we'd have an excuse for pointing out how wasteful that spending can be, and building defense pork awareness. Oh well.
I agree with his larger point about how you can't expect presidents to convince people by winning arguments. For the most part, mainstream American political culture isn't a place where presidents make rational arguments and they convince people. (One can do that within smaller communities of like-minded interested people, like we do on this blog, but not much more is possible.) Really the way you convince Americans that something is good is by doing it and having them become comfortable with it.