President Obama faces a second term that could well prove to be more challenging than the first, with a lagging economy and growing unemployment, serious fiscal issues on the horizon and the looming question on what America will be doing in the world with less resources.
This address is a yearly opportunity for Washington to be honest with itself, beyond the partisan bickering that has paralyzed the political system since the end of the Bush presidency. Several important realities are manifesting themselves: unsustainable spending, the re-evaluation of expensive foreign policy commitments and a coming introspection of American being at home and in the world.
The president will reflect on his first term and what the priorities for the second are going to be. Undountedly, the first topc is jobs and the economy, neither of which is doing well. The coming cuts in public expenses and the impact on the military will be the second most important issue, as the army forms one of the pillars of American foreign policy. Finally, president Obama will have to let the reality of a multipolar and multilateral world catch up with Washington, and begin a transition to creative policies that reflect these changes, while being honest about America's place in this world.
The address will be taking place at 2100EST on Tuesday, February 12.