Whatever the form, content, delivery method or broadcast medium, the President's annual address is a backdrop for national unity. The State of the Union gives the President an opportunity to reflect on the past while presenting his hopes for the future to Congress, the American people and the world. (historicaldocuments.com)
President Bush gave his State of the Union address tonight. Some of the issues he addressed but did not elaborate into detail, were the economy, taxes, health care, education and the war. It seemed like many of the topics he covered were not anything new. I mean I just didn’t see anything in his speech that I thought I would really remember as quite significant, considering it was his last state of the union speech. He is not going out on top, that’s for sure.
As far as the War in Iraq is concerned, he said:
"One year ago our enemies were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos. So we reviewed our strategy and changed course. We launched a surge of American forces into Iraq. We gave our troops a new mission: Work with the Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people, pursue the enemy in its strongholds, and deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere in the country."
This didn’t sound like anything new to me. And considering what was told by the Bush Administration years ago with the whole uranium and everything, how do you accept or believe in anything the administration says. One cannot. Past behavior is a great predictor of future behavior, and I just don’t think his strategy and plan is a good one.
Regarding the economy, he said:
"As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. At kitchen tables across our country, there is a concern about our economic future. In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth. But in the short run, we can all see that that growth is slowing. So last week my administration reached agreement with Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner on a robust growth package that includes tax relief for individuals and families, and incentives for business investment. The temptation will be to load up the bill. That would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable."
It seemed like many of the topics he covered were not new. There was nothing really in his speech that I thought was historical. This part of his speech doesn’t really go into great detail about a long term plan for the economy. Yes, we are going to be electing a new president, but there have got to be decisions that can be made now to help out the long term plan for the economy. His "robust growth plan," or, "stimulus package" is only a temporary solution.
Soon after the conclusion of the speech, Kathleen Sebelius, governor of the state of Kansas, gave the Democrats response. In regards to the economy, the response was:
"Our struggling economy requires urgent and immediate action, and then sustained attention. Families can’t pay their bills, they’re losing their jobs, and now are threatened with losing their homes. We heard last week and again tonight that Congress and the president are acting quickly on a temporary, targeted stimulus package. That’s encouraging, but you and I know that a temporary fix is only the first step toward meeting our challenges and solving our problems. There’s a chance, Mr. President, in the next 357 days to get real results and give the American people renewed optimism that their challenges are the top priority."
Does anyone recall the tone and issue of the 2004 State of the Union Address? It was highly weighted on the war. This years speech was different and definitely more toned down and way less aggressive. In 2004’s State of the Union Address, President Bush said:
From the beginning, America has sought international support for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have gained much support. There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our country. (Applause.)
We also hear doubts that democracy is a realistic goal for the greater Middle East, where freedom is rare. Yet it is mistaken, and condescending, to assume that whole cultures and great religions are incompatible with liberty and self-government. I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom. And even when that desire is crushed by tyranny for decades, it will rise again. (Applause.)
As long as the Middle East remains a place of tyranny and despair and anger, it will continue to produce men and movements that threaten the safety of America and our friends. So America is pursuing a forward strategy of freedom in the greater Middle East. We will challenge the enemies of reform, confront the allies of terror, and expect a higher standard from our friend. To cut through the barriers of hateful propaganda, the Voice of America and other broadcast services are expanding their programming in Arabic and Persian and soon, a new television service will begin providing reliable news and information across the region. I will send you a proposal to double the budget of the National Endowment for Democracy, and to focus its new work on the development of free elections, and free markets, free press, and free labor unions in the Middle East. And above all, we will finish the historic work of democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, so those nations can light the way for others, and help transform a troubled part of the world. (Applause.)
America is a nation with a mission, and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire."
That speech was made 3 years and eight days ago. Now is the time for a "real" new direction. How about that "change" right?
Oh, Take a look at Hillary and Obama tonight:
There is a photo of Hillary and Obama tonight that was taken at the conclusion of Bush’s State of the Union address. The photo shows Hillary reaching over and shaking Ted Kennedy’s while Obama turns away. A pundit on MSNBC said the photographer was reputable and claimed that Obama, in his opinion, turned away from Clinton.
Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama today, and addressed a crowd of Obama supporters in Washington. Kennedy plans to campaign heavily for Obama, and a lot of democrats are saying that it was a hard day for the Clintons. Although I don’t believe that the democrat party is dividing at all, it is obviously there are some deep tensions between the two campaigns. I think I would have liked to see Obama not turn away. But clearly these two were avoiding each other at all costs tonight.
See Obama give Hillary the turn-shoulder here...CLICK ME...