Tuesday night marked President Barack Obama's third, and possibly last state of the union address. While the President reported to the joint session of Congress on the floor of the House, his real audience was to the common American sitting on the couch at home.
All the pageantry aside – the handshakes and annoying party-divided rounds of applause – the State of the Union provides an opportunity for Obama to kick off his 2012 campaign. President Obama gave a speech that hit on major talking points and will propel and drive his re-election efforts, highlighting the positive aspects of his first term – the killing of Osama bin Laden, the end of the Iraq war, and the stabilization of the nation’s economy – while also planning for the future.
Focusing primarily on the nation’s economy, the president cited plans that will create an “America built to last.” He maintained that the economy is in a better position now than when it was when he took office, while admitting that there is still work to be done. He drove home the fact that he is in office to fight for the common American, not the privileged and elite. His proposed economic policies included the so-called “Buffett Rule,” which calls for people making over $1 million to pay no less than a 30% tax rate, and tax breaks for companies doing business in the United States rather than those shipping jobs abroad.
He understood the fears and anger of the American people, giving the joint session a stern talking to – much like a disappointed parent – about playing the political game rather than doing what is right for the American people.
The speech, while not his best, gave the American people reason to believe in the president again. President Obama used the State of the Union as an opportunity to show the common American that he is in their corner. He gave an honest assessment of where our nation stands while also providing hope for the future. No matter who wins the GOP primary, the president will be in a dogfight come the general election.
President Obama’s first term was far from perfect, but if his speech is any indication, he has big plans to bring America back to prominence while also delivering the hope and change he promised in 2008.
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