Knowledgeable political observers suggested President Obama’s State of the Union address probably would be the most important speech of his next four years in the White House.
This was the speech in which he would set his agenda for his second term, enthuse and inspire the public and energize members of Congress to work for the best interests of the country.
By the time of his next State of the Union address, the 2014 elections will be center stage, partisan politics will color most legislative actions and Obama will be closer to being a lame-duck president. For these reasons, Tuesday’s speech was where Obama would have his best opportunity to inspire the nation.
Unfortunately, listeners and viewers didn’t hear many new or exciting ideas and/or programs. It was a rerun of many Obama speeches over the past four years calling for a greater role for the federal government in the lives of most Americans. There was little excitement or enthusiasm and the usual mantra of the rich versus the poor, the middle class versus the have-nots and that most challenges this nation faces can be best solved and improved by government actions and policies.
Often Obama seemed to adopt the role of a very positive, confident, if not arrogant, teacher or professor lecturing his students. He knows he is a gifted speaker, but there is reason to wonder whether this magic has worn thin. There was little truly inspiring or memorable about this speech, which was to have been so important to his presidency.
His supporters will say it was a great and moving presentation, and his critics will say it was ho-hum, just more of the same.
This is too bad because the country needs strong, visionary and challenging leadership and a leader who is truly committed to working in a genuine manner with all interests and both political parties.
He asked his “students” to set aside special party interests. Based on his first four years in office, Obama has not shown any desire to set aside party interests. His agenda for the next four years will be designed to inject greater government involvement at all levels of our society.
He is trying to create a legacy of “changing America,” which he championed in his 2004 campaign efforts.
There are ample examples to question whether Obama’s changes are good or healthy for the country. Based on his Tuesday address, it is clear he intends to push for more government in every facet of our society, no matter the cost — the “cost” in dollar and cents, the “cost” of a growing national debt, and the “cost” of our loss of freedoms.