The State of the Union

He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient. – Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution.

Last night, for the third time since his inauguration on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama gave his “State of the Union Address” to Congress and the country. And, as has been the one constant throughout the first three years of his first term, reaction to it can be summed up in six words: Democrats loved it; Republicans hated it.

Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address

United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.

9:10 P.M. EST – January 24, 2012

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq.  Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought — and several thousand gave their lives.

We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world.  (Applause.)  For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.  (Applause.)  For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.  (Applause.)  Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated.  The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces.  At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations.  They’re not consumed with personal ambition.  They don’t obsess over their differences.  They focus on the mission at hand.  They work together. 

Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.  (Applause.)  Think about the America within our reach:  A country that leads the world in educating its people.  An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs.  A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world.  An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded. (Full text and video at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/01/24/remarks-president-state-union-address).

Anyone who knows me knows that I am an unabashed, unapologetic supporter of the president and his overall policies and vision for America so, there’s really not much for me to say about what I feel was an eloquent and passion “call to arms” for our nation. For me, the best parts of the night were when President Obama forcefully defended his administration’s accomplishments thus far and how he planned to keep moving forward with or without Congress, his impassioned declaration that “The state of our Union is getting stronger.  And we’ve come too far to turn back now.  As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum.  But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place”, the statements “No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits.  Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last -– an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values” and “Now, this blueprint begins with American manufacturing.” (something I’ve been saying and writing about for months) and his full-throated, proud defense of the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010 and the bailout of the auto industry – “On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some [Republicans including current presidential candidate Mitt Romney] even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen…”Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s No. 1 automaker,” the president said.

My other favorite part was the pained visages of John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell throughout the speech. It was funny as hell watching them grimace, writhe and wince their way through the president’s address as if they had a mouthful of cod liver oil that they couldn’t wait to spit out.

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