Daily Archives: Jan. 28, 2012

Pro-con: Was Obama’s State of the Union address effective?

Barack Obama, delivering his third State of the Union address, effectively highlighted his administration’s successes, such as the resurgence of the U.S. auto companies and the bipartisan trade agreements. He presented the public and Congress with a grab bag of initiatives. Some, like a call for states to require students to stay in school until they earn a diploma or turn 18, were high-minded visions destined to go nowhere. But other ideas, like simplifying training programs to move “from an unemployment system to a re-employment system,” seemed fresh and promising. A State of the Union address can be a golden opportunity for a president to bring an administration’s strong points into focus. Obama seized that opportunity and made good use of it. – Kansas City Star

President Obama delivered a State of the Union address that by the account of his own advisers was more campaign document than a plan for governing. He’s running against Republicans in Congress, Reaganomics, wealthy bankers and inequality. Normally, a president at the start of his fourth year would be running on his record, accentuating the legislation he’s passed. Obama can’t do that with any specificity because the economic recovery has been so weak and the legislation he has passed is so unpopular. So he took credit for the shale-gas revolution he had nothing to do with and proposed new policies to “spread the wealth around,” as he famously told Joe the Plumber in 2008 before he took the words back. We thought he meant it then, and now he’s admitting it. – Wall Street Journal