Well, I was back chasing the belt on the treadmill this morning. And no choice really. It’s quite frosty here in NE Ohio this morning. Wonder if Prez O will find it equally chilly tonight when he gives the State of the Union address? C’mon. Give me a break. It’s early — and I had to make the transition somehow.
Anyway, the president’s State of the Union address is great theater: triumphal entries, spirited glad-handing, hugs and kisses, standing Os and loud cheers (or not). And the TV Talking Heads are opining that the stakes for Obama couldn’t be higher. (Aren’t they always?) That this is the opportunity for him to regain the — “Yes We Can” — spirit and momentum that carried him and many Democrats into office.
Good luck with that.
The State of the Union address really doesn’t provide that type of forum — or venue. The speech typically offers a shopping list of policy and other items that the administration would like to accomplish — and a plea for a bipartisan coming together to make something (anything?) happen. Thank God there is no PowerPoint involved. Oops. I digress.
Anyway, good speeches and presentations are memorable because they highlight a few key items well — and inspire the audience to take some action. So when it is all said and done, here are the three themes that I would like to see emerge from tonight’s talk.
- How are we going to strengthen the economy and get millions of Americans back to work?
- How can we reach a consensus on health care — not just to provide some necessary protection and level of medical care to everyone who needs it but also to control the costs that threaten us as individuals and our economy long term?
- How do we strengthen education in this country in a way that enables people of all ages to succeed today — and in the years ahead?
Big issues — without easy answers and made all the more difficult because of concerns about deficit spending and the political realities of the upcoming mid-term elections.
Can Prez O use the State of the Union to get the country — and members of Congress — focused on the big issues in a way that will get us to some resolution?