Archive for January 24, 2012
The President’s annual State of the Union address is a much-anticipated event. While the President is required to “from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union” (Article II, Section 3), the form of the address, and the pomp and circumstance which now accompanies the event, is a matter of more long-standing tradition than law.
While previous Presidents have generally been given deference, and disagreement has been masked with stony silence, President Obama has not had that luxury during previous addresses to joint sessions of Congress. Recall Representative Joe Wilson’s (R-Springdale, SC) famous “You Lie!” during a 2009 joint session where President Obama unveiled his health care plan. (Rep. Wilson later apologized, then retracted his apology.) During the 2010 State of the Union, President Obama openly criticized the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision:
With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.
which then caused Justice Samuel Alito, who had ruled with a five-to-four court majority, to mouth the words “not true”. (By the way, Politifact agrees with Justice Alito, rating this statement by President Obama “mostly false”.)
What can we expect from tonight’s address? President Obama will make a baldly political statement, asking Congress to advance jobs initiatives and fiscal stimulus that he knows has no chance of passing. His opponents will use their dissent as an opportunity for their own version of grandstanding.
The jockeying for political advantage has already begun. Speaker of the House John Boehner, who will sit behind the President during the speech, has already indicated he thinks the speech’s content will be “pathetic”. Meanwhile, the group No Labels will try to get Representatives and Senators from both sides of the aisle to sit together — literally.
- Obama to Hold Google+ ‘Hangout’ After State of the Union Address (techland.time.com)
- Obama Prepares for State of the Union Address on Tuesday (bilerico.com)
- Letter to President Obama Re: The State of the Union Address (nader.org)
- President Obama prepares for his most important State of the Union address (worldviewtonight.wordpress.com)
- Your State of the Union Interview with President Obama (whitehouse.gov)
- Obama to Answer Your Questions on State of the Union Interview on Google+ (socialtimes.com)
- David Plouffe on the State of the Union: The White House Wants to Hear From You (itsabstworld.com)