Tonight, the President will deliver the usual boring laundry list of promises about jobs, prosperity, affordable education, wide roads, and a blissful future. And in the morning, millions of Americans will take a harder hit when they buy gasoline, which is, for most of them, not a discretionary purchase.
From the earliest days of Marco Rubio’s plucky campaign for the U.S. Senate, his diehard supporters spoke of the day that their man would have an opportunity to challenge Barack Obama – his policies, his vision, his rhetoric. They were certain that Rubio was so gifted an orator and possessed such a unique set of political skills that he would be able to make immediate and improbable leaps that most politicians could not execute.
The headline on Ron Fournier's National Journalstory warns us to be alert for a "pivot" by the president in his State of the Union address. It seems that regarding the president's Inaugural Address “the perception remains that Obama lost focus on the economy -- the top issue in the minds of most voters. So look for an address Tuesday tilted heavily toward policies pledging action on joblessness, growing the economy and expanding the middle class, White House officials said Friday.”
Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican senator elected in 2010, will give the Republican response to Barack Obama's state of the union address next week. From a joint statement from House speaker John Boehner and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell:
On January 23, 1980, Jimmy Carter gave what turned out to be his final State of the Union address. Ronald Reagan’s victory over Carter that November spared us any more of them. Will Barack Obama’s appearance before Congress on January 24, 2012, be his swan song?
New York senator Chuck Schumer commented on Mitch Daniels's Republican response to the State of the Union Address at a press conference today on Capitol Hill. "The Republican speaker last night, Mitch Daniels, talked about Americans must talk about the state of the union as grave," Schumer said. "So, we think we are in great shape. We are in good shape."
The boss noted President Obama's praise for the military in last night's State of the Union address—praise, that is, designed to advance his own liberal agenda. President Obama is “using the prestige of the military to justify the nanny state,” as the boss wrote last night. Still, Obama seemed genuinely to care about our troops.
There were some nice patriotic touches, a passel of small proposals, and old ideas like soaking the rich in President Obama’s State of the Union Address. But mostly the speech consisted of an effort to make a big deal out of not much.
Obama's State of the Union might be most notable for what was not said. There were 44 words dedicated to health care reform. There was no mention of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka stimulus bill.
That is rather telling, considering that these are Obama's two largest policy achivements, and they remain political kryptonite even years later.