Obama's State of the Union message was a bit lack-luster in content. The President delivered his yearly address in the same way he always does; with passion and conviction. His words rang out with authority as America's top elected officials listened with the deference due a President of the United States.
As the President stood there addressing the nation, Uncle Joe winked and smirked his way into yet another mock-fest at his expense while Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican, looked like he was trying to fight off the effects of the three Zanax he took beforehand knowing he would have to sit next to the Vice President.
Obama spoke on most of the topics people expected him to; education, immigration, unemployment benefits, the tax code, and a myriad of other things, like gun control, that are ultimately a mute point considering they will never pass any Congress let alone a Republican-controlled Congress. Equally as interesting, he didn't touch a few of the issues that some were hoping he would. One such issue is the loss of retirement benefits for veterans of the Armed Forces.
Obama's stance on education is definitely something that is echoed across the halls of Congress on both sides of the party. Everyone knows, as he stated, that early childhood education is important and that we need to provide great educational opportunities for every child in this country.
Obama repeated his call to action last year, saying, "Last year, I asked this Congress to help states make high-quality pre-K available to every 4-year-old. And as a parent as well as a president, I repeat that request tonight."
The issue of contention is not whether kids should have access to education, it's how to do it. Programs like Head Start have been argued as to their effectiveness in accomplishing at hand while it widens the grand-canyon-sized deficit we are currently running.
Obama's over-arching theme of doing things himself begs the question of what he will do to help the education initiative without the support of Congress? Can he raise the starting salary minimums for early childhood educators from it's current level at $41,520 to help encourage young adults with promise to get into the field?
Unfortunately, as is generally the case in politics, the State of the Union is still unclear. It's obvious that the government is in gridlock and that the two paths to prosperity laid out by each party diverge at the realization that something needs to be done. Instead of putting on a political pep rally and parading around soldiers and single mothers as all Presidents do, more time should be spent on being honest and forthcoming; laying out facts as they are regardless of how bleak they may be.
On a positive note, decorum and respect still exist in Washington to the extent that the President of the United States can stand in front of his colleagues, and nation, with the lowest approval rating of his tenure, and deliver a speech while the other side of the aisle listens politely. This isn't necessarily the case everywhere in the world.