The State of the Union Synopsis
Reminding us of the sacrifice made by many of our public servants, the State of the Union coverage opened on the extraordinary Gabrielle Giffords, who recently announced her resignation from the Senate in order to focus on her recovery. If you will recall the remarkable event in January of 2011, Senator Giffords received a severe head trauma when a gunman opened fire on public offices in Arizona. In a very real way she represents the hope that our nation will come out of these trying times stronger than ever, a hope that our current president campaigned on and reignited this evening.
Tonight President Obama stepped out into an unusually vibrant and colorful crowd, exchanging a hug with Gabrielle Giffords and extending hugs and handshakes to many others. An air of excited anticipation filled the chamber more so than in years past.
The theme of the evening’s speech was shared responsibility and fairness. President Obama, less than discreetly capitalizing on his successes, began his State of the Union address by comparing our current situation to that of the military raid of Bin Laden’s compound stating that this time in our history required unity, “shared responsibility” and a sense of duty.
After quoting Lincoln’s saying, “government should do only for people what they cannot do better by themselves and no more,” President Obama let congress know exactly what he felt government could do better citing the creation of the Consumer Protection Agency, an upcoming Fair Trade Bureau, requesting a corporate crimes task force in the FBI, and calling upon congress to replace outmoded regulations with ‘reasonable regulations.’ The prompted a lighthearted, yet single, joke of the evening about when federal inspectors had to regulate milk spills as if they were oil spills with President Obama saying that in this case it was ok to “cry over spilt milk.”
President Obama called again for tax reform to promote economic competitiveness, reintroduced the Buffett rule to discussion (minimum 30% tax on all million dollar earners), capitalized on America’s successful investment in our automobile industry, and renewable energy encouraging congress to ‘bet on America’. He encouraged small businesses and job training bringing up his grandfather and a multitude of touching stories of American entrepreneurship while the camera panned to the humble and uncomfortably recognized subjects of the president’s stories. Relevant to college students, President Obama encouraged the extension of current, low student loan rates and proposed revoking taxpayer subsidies of universities that are unable to check unreasonable tuition growth.
President Obama mentioned many times that he wants congress to send him the bills to do things that everyone agrees upon that he would sign ‘tomorrow’. As stated by commentators, Obama has painted such an optimistic picture of the future by appealing to people’s idealistic tendencies that congress will either make Obama look good by doing well or will be easy for Obama to campaign against for failing miserably.
The address was summed up by again appealing to the sense of military unity of the past year and to the ideals that made America great the past and will make America great again. President Obama said tonight that the State of the Union is Strong. It is not, however, in material possessions and tax policy that the state of our union is judged but in the hope of our people and the direction we choose to follow. Tonight President Obama convinced many that there is hope for the future and that the American spirit is alive and well and the State of Our Union is, indeed, strong.
-By Michael Burleson
With these eight words, the United States begins its yearly political ritual known as the State of the Union Address. This address is required by the Second Article of the U.S. Constitution: “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The Address being yearly is merely tradition set forth by the college of presidents. Also, it important to note that before President Woodrow Wilson, many presidents did not give an address in person rather sent a letter to congress, fulfilling the Constitutional requirement. Tonight we will once again enjoy an amazing American political custom. Co-Contributor Michael Burleson will be providing a commentary of our President Barack Obama and I will be providing the commentary for the Republican response by Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) and the Tea Party Response giving by former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain.
Well, they do heavy campaigning, of course. In the last election cycle, President Obama raised over $760 Million and is expected to top that by raising over $1 Billion this year. The year, the candidates over all are predicted to spend over $8 Billion.
But besides vamping up on the re-election campaign, President Obama is taking steps to appeal to the “undeclared” voters that he may have gotten in the last election that are in the toss up this round. Today, the President called on Congress for the power to shrink the size of the federal government, something that the GOP candidates are really pushing. This proposal comes at a very strategic time and poses a contrast to statement made by GOP candidates who have called the Obama Administration a far-left, government expanding, ploy.
Bottom line, we can look forward to proposals and promises that appeal to middle of the road voters from both sides.