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State of the Union Address 2013: LIVE Coverage

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So it begins

9:33 - In case you don't feel like listening, you can find the text to the State of the Union address here.

9:31 - Manufacturing needs to be supported in the U.S. Announces three new manufacturing hubs and asks Congress to support 15 new hubs.

9:29 - Boehner just looks really upset. But seriously, what else is new?

9:28 - "The greatest nation on Earth can't sustain itself by going from one manufactured crisis to the next."

9:24 - Obama: We can't cut our way to prosperity. Biden nods approvingly.

9:21 - Talking about reducing deficit and calling on Congress to stop sequestration from going through.

9:17 - Boehner doesn't applaud when Obama says the "state of the union is stronger".

Obama begins with a JFK quote, and gets much applause for saying the troops are coming home.

Obama has entered the building

Obama is walking into the Capitol building and shaking every single person's hand. This might be awhile.

Details of Obama's speech revealed

Foreign Policy reports details of Obama's SOTU speech have been revealed. Several topics outlined below will be covered, especially jobs, the economy and immigration, but Obama will also focus on:

Climate Change - Appealing from an economic perspective, Obama will advocate supporting energy sustainability and technologies that lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Nuclear proliferation - There are several indications Obama will argue for reductions of nuclear arsenals around the world, including reducing the U.S. warhead supply from 1,700 to 1,000. With the recent North Korean nuclear tests, however, this may take a slightly different tone.

Afghanistan - Obama plans to reduce troop levels by 34,000 over the next year, approximately halving the U.S. ground presence in the country.

State of the Union Address 2013: LIVE Coverage

Picture Credit: babyboy_arts

On Tuesday, February 12 at 9 pm EST, President Barack Obama will address Congress and the nation in the 2013 State of the Union. Coming on the heels of a resounding Democratic victory in the November election, which saw majorities voting for Obama’s reelection and for Democrats in both houses (despite Republicans winning a majority of seats in the House of Representatives due to gerrymandering), Obama will likely deliver a confident and vindicated speech Tuesday evening. Democrats close to Obama say he is planning to deliver a more “aggressive” speech to keep the GOP on the defensive ahead of the looming budget cuts, set to go in effect in March barring congressional action.

Mirroring his inaugural address, look for the 44th president to begin his second term with a speech focusing on domestic issues, which are consistently viewed by voters as far more important than foreign policy. Both the White House and the Senate recently released immigration reform programs, but a response from the House (and House Republicans) is still needed. Additionally, the deficit, defense and entitlement spending, tax reform and the economy will likely feature prominently.

Popular issues notwithstanding, the president has far more actual power over foreign policy than domestic, so Obama’s comments regarding the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran will be of particular interest to FP wonks. The military is planning to reduce troop numbers in Afghanistan by about two thirds over the next year or so, but details and timing have yet to be elucidated. While on the ground operations have been reduced in Afghanistan, drone strikes have increased hugely in Pakistan. However, Obama failed to give this controversial policy a single reference on January 21, so don’t expect much focus here on Tuesday. And lastly, the president will likely continue to defend the U.S. posturing against Iran in the form of economic sanctions.

Political speeches are frequently quite predictable (which is what will make this drinking game so enjoyable), but Obama’s oratorical skills never cease to impress, so this speech will at very least be a stirring one.

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