Ah, the State of the Union. Formalities and traditions galore. What fun. I always (read: never) enjoy the panning over the crowd and pointing out who does and doesn’t applaud after any given (read: every) remark given by the President. Thanks for that brilliant insight, CNN. Also, thanks for the scrolling news bits on the bottom of the screen during the speech. That’s why God gave us two eyes: one to watch the President and one to watch the (often meaningless) blurbs oozing across the lower portion of the screen. Also, thank you for telling us what he is going to say before he says it (damn White House spokespeople). Really kills the suspense.
It’s sad that every time I see President Obama get up to deliver a speech, I have a fear in the back of my head that he might possibly be assassinated. In other words, I don’t have much faith in the racial progress that “has been made” over the past decades.
All hail the almighty statistic. Thus far, Obama has relied heavily on numbers that stress the progress and effectiveness of programs. For example, Obama claims that the average American family will save $750 at the pump this year. Of course, this relies on many uncontrollable assumptions, such as constant prices in the global gasoline market, but who cares? It’s the State of the Union speech; it’s politicking.
Also, Obama early on introduced his token family, (the Millers. I believe) which will serve as a credibility-building basis for many of his economic arguments — an anecdote machine, if you will.
Obama stresses the role of government as ensuring everyone a fair shot at success, a blend of modern liberalism and the American Dream.
It’s interesting that just now Obama is beginning to flex his executive authority by vetoing any unsavory legislation — he played politics so much in the first years of his presidency that he could not assert his own values.
In discussion of climate change, Obama reminds us that he himself is not an authority of climate science, but that he is well informed by scientists.
Additionally, Obama’s concluding remarks tied into themes he mentioned early in the speech, such as the American people being “a tight-knit family” that had made it through “some very, very tough times”. A+, speechwriter (not Curt Smith).