State of the Union Preview – Obama to Head to the Middle?

The “bipartisan seating chart” may make for a more subdued State of the Union speech this year, but there may not be much in the way of partisan talking points to cheer or catcall, anyway. 

Via The New York Times:

Mr. Obama previewed the themes in a video e-mailed Saturday evening to supporters who had helped in his election campaign. But the video made plain that his speech would be geared more broadly toward the political center, to independent voters and business owners and executives alienated by the expansion of government and the partisan legislative fights of the past two years.

“My No. 1 focus,” he said, “is going to be making sure that we are competitive, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future.”

“These are big challenges that are in front of us,” Mr. Obama also said in the video, sent to members of Organizing for America, his network of supporters from the 2008 campaign. “But we’re up to it, as long as we come together as a people — Republicans, Democrats, independents — as long as we focus on what binds us together as a people, as long as we’re willing to find common ground even as we’re having some very vigorous debates.”

The annual address on Tuesday, with much of the nation watching, will pull together themes suggested by Mr. Obama over the past two months as he has moved rapidly since the midterm elections to retool his presidency.

In his speeches, policy choices and personnel appointments, Mr. Obama has signaled that after two years in which his response to the economic crisis and his push for passage of the health care bill defined him to many voters as a big-government liberal, he is seeking to recast himself as a more business-friendly, pragmatic progressive.

That means emphasizing job creation, deficit reduction and a willingness to compromise in a new period of divided government. But it also means a willingness to make the case for spending — or investment, as many in his party would prefer to call it — in areas like education, transportation and technological innovation when it can be justified as essential to the nation’s long-term prosperity.

The Times also reports that the speech will be “more thematic than heavy on specific policy initiatives,” making it, frankly, sort of a waste of time.

The audience may not be the only ones who think it’s a waste, either.  Rumors are swirling that there is a possibility that not one Republican Supreme Court Justice will actually attend the event.

Justice Antonin Scalia hasn’t attended a State of the Union address in years. Clarence Thomas seems to come and go, although he recently explained, “I don’t go because it has become so partisan, and it’s very uncomfortable for a judge to sit there. … There’s a lot that you don’t hear on TV—the catcalls, the whooping and hollering and under-the-breath comments.” So if Thomas and Scalia are ditching and Alito bows out for 2011, it will leave the chief justice in an unenviable position. As my colleague Greg Stohr points out, if all four conservative justices stay home this year, “The court’s contingent at the speech might consist largely—perhaps even entirely—of Democratic appointees.” 

The State of the Union occurs tomorrow evening, so be sure to check back here at Care2 for the latest coverage.

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Donald MacDonald
don MacDonald6 years ago

Thanks John thats very good to know...looks like somebody might be running a little interference on here.

I will always take every opportunity to make people aware of the grand deception they are living out needlessly.

Even if I wanted to, it would be impossible to stop myself.


John E.
John E6 years ago

* Sound Mind says
* Jan 25, 2011 2:41 PM
Donald MacDonald etc.

Very eloquently put, and yes, I agree with every word.

Donald ...

While I am not aware of this happening to me, I have seen it occur to someone else , and consequently it made what I wrote in response rather meaningless once the original post had disappeared.
Remember, as Ronnie Barker once said "Nil bastardo carborundum" (translation available)

Rose N.
Past Member 6 years ago

Thank you for posting.

Steve R.
Steve R6 years ago

Well, well - the Pres wants to lower the corporate tax rate....

And he wants to make it easier for businesses to operate in America.

Hmmm - perhaps he's been browsing comments on Care2?

Of course - there's Boehner sitting behind him, being condescending.

Wonder how far we'll get? I know - they'll lower the corporate tax rate, then introduce Value Added Tax. In other words, pass the tax burden on to we the people.

Uh oh - I think we've been screwed again!

Donald MacDonald
don MacDonald6 years ago

" * Sound Mind says
* Jan 25, 2011 2:41 PM

Donald MacDonald, anybody can flag any post as "inappropriate". Don't know the pecking order as far as approving a removal but I flag every low life's commercial ad that gets posted here and they get deleted, as they don't belong here. I can understand why some would be tickled pink if you quit, but just tough it out. "

Thanks Sound Mind, I hadn't thought of that angle...and I did have a recent dust up with someone trying to bait me.

I was however, attacked inexplicably by some poster without an account...which care2 failed to address.


Joshua I.
Joshua I6 years ago

Lies, Deception, and Misdirection, I won't waste a minute of my time with any"Good Sounding Word" he speaks....

Steve R.
Steve R6 years ago

And just so we're properly prepared for the lies that are coming tonight, here's a reminder...

Barack Obama - 7 lies in under 2 minutes!

Steve R.
Steve R6 years ago

I can't wait! It's the best clown show on TV.

This year, they're even pretending to like one another!!

I'll give you the REAL state of the Union! It's SCREWED!

And the clowns in Washington just keep hoping SOMETHING, ANYTHING will miraculously happen to fix the problem, while 90% or more of the citizenry remain in blank, wide-eyed denial!

Can't happen in the USA, right?

Well, today the US dollar lost yet another penny in value against the Swiss Franc. That's down from FOUR Swiss Francs to the dollar in 2000, to less than ONE Swiss Franc today.

If anyone is interested in where we're headed, just take a look at Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, England, and the worst case of all, Zimbabwe!

But don't worry - VAT is coming! "Value Added" Tax. A tax charged by every participant in the process of getting something from a manufacturer to you, the consumer.

Without a doubt, the planet's WORST ever Socialist scheme to part you from your hard earned money.

In Greece, Income Tax: 40%, VAT: 25%, TOTAL: 65%!

In the United Kingdom, Income Tax: 50%, VAT: 17.5%, TOTAL: 67.5%

In Sweden, Income Tax: 55%, VAT: 25%, TOTAL: 80%.

There are more - but not enough room here.

These are the REAL costs of socialism. But in spite of these astronomical tax rates, these countries are still DEEP IN DEBT!

Like the USA..... $14 TRILLION with a capital T!

It's time to take a really hard look at reality CLOWNS!

The Union? WHAT UNION?

Mary L.
Mary L6 years ago

Obama is in the middle and always has been. Complaints that he has not produced jobs ignore the stimulus bill passed before health care was tackled. I'm not happy with his record either, but who would have done better? Not McCain - and surely not the Tea people. We did not go over the brink into Depression. Obama deserves credit for that. The bailouts weren't pretty; neither is a body cast. But they needed to be done. With lagging support from Dems in Congress, he was not able to get better financial and health care reforms. But look at the scary Reps now! Thank God they were not in control in 2009! Vote them out ASAP.

Sound Mind
Ronald E6 years ago

Aimee L, it wasn't Obama that was secretly holding up legislation. Under current filibuster rules any one member can table legislation without even going to DC, let alone explain why.