President Obama’s State of the Union Address faces a Congress frozen in partisan gridlock while his own popularity has taken a hit over the past year. What chance he will be able to get anything done over the next twelve months?
Last year, Obama watched helpless as his legislative agenda stalled in Congress. His plans for immigration reform and a bill to expand background checks for gun buyers got nowhere.
Though Congress has recently announced deals on a new budget and a farm bill, and talk of immigration reform has picked up again, the chance of Republicans becoming willing partners with the president is remote. Facing this reality, Obama’s State of the Union will stress that if Congress refuses to act he is willing to enact his agenda through executive actions.
For a president to govern through executive action is often controversial, but on priorities like income inequality to climate change, Obama is unlikely to make progress unless he flexes all the powers of his office.
"I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward," Obama told reporters earlier this month. “I’ve got a phone that allows me to convene Americans from every walk of life, nonprofits, businesses, the private sector, universities to try to bring more and more Americans together around what I think is a unifying theme: making sure that this is a country where, if you work hard, you can make it.”
MORE from Newsweek’s Pema Levy Obama Ready to Sidestep Congress in Today’s State of the Union)
America’s role in the world is steadily shrinking-and that’s nothing to celebrate.
For this week’s Newsweek cover story, “The Puny Superpower,” James P. Rubin says the diplomatic debacle over Syria reflects a profound transformation that appears to be taking place in American foreign policy. It’s a transformation that he fears we will regret.
How do you think President Obama handled the Syria crisis this past week? Is America’s foreign influence waning?
Just when you thought Daft Punk’s song ‘Get Lucky’ couldn’t trend any harder…
[Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty]
My opinion on the font used in the president’s speech. I recreated it as well as I could in the 5 minutes I have. If the image quality is bad, I’m sorry; I can’t get tumblr to make it nicer on dashboards. It looks better on my blog.
In my non-professional opinion: The font is good old Times New Roman, with line spacing increased. The reason it looks different is because it also has tracking - the spaces in between the letters - increased, and the kerning - the relationship between specific letters to make the word flow better - is changed.
I could be wrong, though. I wouldn’t swear to it in court…
And there we have it. Nice job, bibliospork!
A detailed look from White House photographer Pete Souza at Barack Obama, Copy Editor in Chief.
A 15-year-old majorette who performed at some of President Barack Obama’s recent inauguration festivities has been shot to death in Chicago.
Police say Hadiya Pendleton was shot in the back Tuesday in a South Side park and died at a city hospital.
Authorities say Hadiya was one of about 12 teenagers sheltering from heavy rain under a canopy when a man jumped a fence, ran toward the group and opened fire. The man fled the scene in a vehicle. No arrests have been made.
President Obama in his Inauguration speech, as prepared. You can watch here.