What are your plans for the State of the Union?

Image copyright 2014 Getty Images. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
A scene from the 2014 State of the Union address. Not every moment looks like this. Image copyright 2014 Getty Images. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
As of this writing we’re about 90 minutes away from President Barack Obama’s seventh State of the Union address. If you’re scoring at home that means he has one more before he is out of office and his popularity surges.

I have a friend, a Facebook friend really (which is not the same as a friend friend), who has been posting her disdain today for this event, not because of the speech, but because Obama’s giving it.

It got me thinking about the usefulness of the State of the Union. It is good in one sense because it telegraphs the president’s moves beyond, “I’m going to veto everything you knuckleheads send me.” It gives the president a chance to lay out an agenda for the year, and all kidding aside I believe that is a useful function of the speech. And I’m also a fan of trotting out examples of a few people who make us feel good about being Americans.

Still, I can’t say I’m ever excited about a State of the Union address. I’m even less enthused about opposition responses. I think this is a function of sitting still for live television for anything other than sports becoming a dying practice. I sat Sunday for the Seahawks game and I’d bet money that the president, no matter how eloquent he is, will not deliver anything with near the impact Jermaine Kearse’s game-ending had. The speech is more important than that game, probably.

Probably.

The White House just sent out some excerpts. Let me give you a few, then ask you a question.

“We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many. But tonight, we turn the page.”

“Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”

“In Iraq and Syria, American leadership – including our military power – is stopping ISIL’s advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism. This effort will take time. It will require focus. But we will succeed. And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.”

“No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information. If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.”

The question is a simple one: Do you take time out of your schedule to watch the State of the Union? Why?

2 thoughts on “What are your plans for the State of the Union?

  1. I loved the President’s response to the boor that was clapping his tiny hands when Obama said he wouldn’t be running again.

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