“Though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before,” Obama declared to a thunderous round of applause from a packed House.
Last night was pomp and circumstance for the State of the Nation address delivered by President Barak Obama. It was his first presentation to the joint branches of the Congress and the judicial arm of the government.
He began his speech: Madame Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress and the First Lady of the United States….and then he began to look for First Lady Michelle Obama in the sea of spectators….and in response to his appreciation of her presence she blew him a kiss and said “I love you”. This is truly a love supreme.
Obama’s response came Tuesday night: “I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves, that says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity.”
In contrast, when Ronald Regan took office in 1981, said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” My question to the opposing pundits is why not support the government’s involvement? When a child requires discipline do you as a parent let the child go astray or offer a corrective framework as a preventive action for future results?
The bullet points are…
The president’s agenda as defined in his address to Congress may have been the most ambitious plan in a generation, can be summarized by four major bullet points:
Restore financial stability by:
- stimulating consumer consumption
- offering tax breaks to the “middle”
- putting America back to work
- offering homeowner assistance
- cutting the budget in half by 2011
- Strengthen education
- Promote energy independence
- Health care reform
So what evidence of action does President Obama have to draw upon?
President Obama has signed into law a “ginormous”* $787 billion economic plan, an expansion of children’s health insurance coverage and pay equity legislation and it has been about 30 days since he has taken office. Folks it is time individually for us to step up our game! For those that say he is spewing out rhetoric, I say to them it is matched by unequal accomplishment. What contributions have I made to society today? (as I scratch my head) J
*As of this writing the word ginormous just missed the cut to making it into the latest edition of the lexicon! I will be pushing hard the next go round!!
The State of the Union
The State of the Union is an annual address presented before a joint session of Congress and held in the House of Representatives chamber at the U.S. Capitol.
In recent years, newly inaugurated presidents have delivered speeches to joint sessions of Congress only weeks into their respective terms, but these are not officially considered State of the Union addresses. The address is most frequently used to outline the president’s legislative proposals for the upcoming year.
Since the address is made in the Capitol and during a joint session of Congress, the President must first be invited by Congress to both enter the House of Representatives Chamber and then actually address the joint session. This invitation is customary in form as the speech is now a traditional part of the American political and national schedule.
Delivery of the Speech
A formal invitation is made for each State of the Union Address. The Sergeant at Arms of the United States House of Representatives ceremoniously announces the presence of the President, who then enters the chamber to a standing ovation.
Sitting near the front of the chamber are the Justices of the Supreme Court, the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and members of the President’s Cabinet. Customarily, one cabinet member (the designated survivor) does not attend, in order to provide continuity in the line of succession in the event that a catastrophe disables the President, the Vice President, and other succeeding officers gathered in the House chamber. Additionally, since the September 11, 2001 attacks, a few members of Congress have been asked to relocate to undisclosed locations for the duration of the speech.
After greeting attendees, the President hands copies of the address to the Vice President of the United States, who is present in his capacity as President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, both of whom sit behind the President for the duration of the speech. Once the chamber settles down from the President’s arrival, the Speaker officially presents the President to the joint session of Congress. The President then delivers the speech from the podium at the front of the House Chamber. Since the 1982 address, it has also become common for the President to honor special guests sitting in the gallery, such as everyday Americans or visiting heads of state.
State of the Union speeches usually last a little over an hour, partly because of the large amounts of applause that occur from the audience throughout. The applause is often political in tone, with many portions of the speech being applauded only by members of the President’s own party. As non-political officeholders, members of the Supreme Court or the Joint Chiefs of Staff rarely applaud in order to retain the appearance of political impartiality.
Since 1966, the speech has been followed on television by a response or rebuttal by a member of the political party opposing the President’s party. The response is typically broadcast from a studio with no audience. Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana delivered the response last night. His delivery was juvenile in tone, lacked leadership confidence and weak on substance. At one point he inferred he was a pre-existing condition. You got to be kidding me? Who vetted his speech, his HMO? Yeah, you got it – the republican virus of the last 8 years….ooops, sorry your claim has been denied.
When his Indian parents immigrated to the U.S. and arrived in Baton Rouge, La., Jindal’s mother was four-and-a-half months pregnant with him. “I was what folks in the insurance industry now call a ‘pre-existing condition,'” Jindal quipped. Unable to afford the delivery, his father worked out an installment plan to pay the doctor.