Posts tagged sotu
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)

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)

In the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
Obama
We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. I urge the House to do the same. And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.
Obama

Yet Another Reason Poniewozik Should Write About Politics More

Here’s the lede from his State of the Union piece:

So what did you think of the speech? No, not the State of the Union; other people are all over that. No, not the iPad launch; we’ve already covered that. I’m talking about the Republican response to the State of the Union, which new Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell delivered, in a twist, in front of a crowd of supporters in the Virginia House of Delegates.

On the one hand, it solved the usual problem, in which the poor sap who draws the short straw for the opposition party has to follow a speech given to standing ovations in the grandeur of the Capitol with an address given to awkward silence into a camera.

On the other hand, it seemed a little weird, like a scene from some postapocalyptic movie in which America has been divided into warring territories, each with its own President and a State of its own Union.

Oh, wait: we do live in that postapocalyptic movie, don’t we?