In what had to rank as one of the most anticipated US presidential state of the union addresses in recent times, coming after a string of delays, stumbles and defeats, President Obama took the podium this week to address the joint session of Congress, the American people and the world.
Just two months ago, one would have expected health care reform to lead the way, but the subject was buried deep into the back end of the speech….and while the President tried to appear to remain firm on that part of his agenda, one cannot help but interpret some degree of conciliatory acknowledgment on his part, that the sweeping changes and massive expenditures originally envisioned are on life support at the moment.
State of the Union addresses have always amused me because of the typical Washington audacity they portray, no matter who the President is. You have pauses written into the speeches so that the chamber can break into raucous or polite applause, depending upon the last statement, you have the vice-president and the speaker of the house grinning and fidgeting directly behind the president, knowing full well they are on camera to the world, but always seeming very uncomfortable about that…and you know that immediately after the speech, you’re going to get supporting and dissenting commentary from a whole cast of characters.
I received an email from a news media agency offering me 23 different potential show guests with expert opinions about the speech…2 days before the speech was delivered!
Democrats like Tom Harkin and Jay Rockefeller predictably applauded the President, saying he spoke directly to the American people and supported his call for an investment in education.
It was a state of the union address…of course he was speaking to the American people and name me one President in history that didn’t support investment in education.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch accused the president of being stone deaf to the message sent by angry voters and accused the President of giving full throated defense to policies the American people oppose.
I personally was disappointed when the President pulled his overly used and now seemingly tired rabbit out of a hat trick, in blaming the previous administration for his troubles and our economic and social woes…Mr. President, you have the job, you don’t have to campaign for it any longer, we get it, you think Bush did a very bad job as President and 14 months ago most of America agreed with you….and that is why you were giving the state of the union speech this week.
You have appointed car czars, banks czars, wall street czars, all kinds of czars…we no longer need a blame czar…Americans don’t need a place to put the blame, they need a place to go to work.