Obama’s State of the Union Address: Writing a Bright Final Chapter



U.S. President Obama, who has two remaining years in office, gave the State of the Union address at the beginning of the year. Unlike previous years where his address has tended to focus inward, this year he emphatically discussed beginning a “new chapter in the United States. However, this may be difficult to achieve.

“The shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong,” President Obama said. “We have laid a new foundation. A brighter future is ours to write.”

With two years remaining and in spite of reports of the administration’s continuing lame duck — decreasing power — status, the address was a strong one. It directly urged compromise with the opposing Republican Party that holds a majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

This is largely a result of a variety of favorable economic indicators. Last year, 2.9 million new jobs were created, the most since 1999. The unemployment rate, which rose to the historically high level of 10 percent soon after Obama’s inauguration, has improved to 5-6 percent. The stock market is maintaining strength. The recovery of automotive manufacturers, which was a symbol of the economic crisis, has likely also contributed to this return in confidence.

In regard to appropriate regulations, President Obama boasted of the correctness of his own policy, which focused on the large middle class majority rather than the wealthy few, and emphasized that the provision of health care to more than 10 million people through Obamacare is another result of those regulations. He indicated his intention to continue with meticulous education and social policies for the middle class.

Concerning foreign policy, he stressed that the U.S. believes in a smart foreign policy where “we combine military power with strong diplomacy” rather than military power alone. In response to the urgent international issue of Islamic terrorist groups, he also expressed taking an even stricter approach to unjust acts of terror together with the international community, stating that “we stand united with people around the world who have been targeted by terrorists—from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris.”

Since the midterm elections last fall, President Obama has been moving proactively on a number of domestic and foreign policies. Since the end of last year when the normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba was pursued, approval ratings in various public opinion polls have gone up, with the Washington Post reporting an improvement of 50 percent.

Bolstered by high approval ratings, Obama appealed directly to citizens with his policies and took hold of the argument, conveying his hopes of urging early cooperation with the Republican Party. If this promotes cooperation in the international community and strengthened cooperation against terror, then it is welcome.

However, the outlook is not bright as to whether his policies will be carried out according to plan. The Republican Party’s offensive and defensive strategies concerning the large-scale pipeline projects it holds important, immigration policies and withdrawal of Obamacare are yet to come.

Whether the last chapter of President Obama’s administration will be bright with his call to the Republican Party that the “future is ours to write” depends on whether or not both Democratic and Republican parties can surpass their own existing individual opinions.

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply