The Annual State of the Union address is an important part of the political landscape. It is attended by all in Washington and many others who have a part in shaping public policy. Many wonder what issues the President would discuss? What goals and points would be placed on the nation’s mind and heart? As everyone from the Vice President to the common citizen sat in anticipation, the moment has arrived. The tone of the moment had come to hand and everything seemed ripe for the taking.
The President began his speech highlighting the accomplishments of the country during the past few years. The United States has produced more oil within its borders than from importing. He pointed to the continued promise of the American Dream, in which all who work hard can achieve successful results. He highlighted the backgrounds of the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and himself, as example of the American Dream coming true. Education and skills training were explained as the way of creating more jobs for Americans looking. Clean energy and alternative fuel sources were also dissected. Solar energy is becoming an invested entity within this country. The President asked for more people to fuel this industry. He asked the American people to support our work to save our environment and that climate change is very real. He believed that if our future prosperity looked us in the eyes, and asked if we did all we could to maintain the environment, what would we say? He said, “He wanted to be able to say, yes!” “Yes, we did!” President Obama wanted more efforts to conserve our national parks. He believed it is important to preserve these places for future generations.
Looking at the private sector, he asked business leaders to take the initiative increased the minimum wage on their own. He urged the increase in minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and for equal pay for women. Women make $.77 for every dollar, a man makes in this country. The President explained, “In 2014, this rate of pay for women was an embarrassment.” He went further to explain that America would be in a supportive role in Afghanistan and with allies worldwide. He asked Congress to work on immigration reform. He pointed to the strengthening of our past and how our country can grow with the strong work of these new prospective members of our society. In closing, he spoke on the bravery of one military man, to serve our country and the cost he paid. He compared our country to that notion. We stumble, make mistakes, but we can remain the great nation of our forefathers’ vision. I believed the President regained 2008 pre-presidential election momentum. He stood in command and spoke to using his executive authority in cases where Congress would not act. He came from a center to left approach to rally his supporters and pacify his opposition. In that regard, his speech was highly successful. This is a nationalist feel much like the days of Teddy Roosevelt. Something Democrats and Republicans might find very interesting.
The Republican response was delivered by Congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers. She delivered points supporting early life, and how the Affordable Care Act fails to help the people. She went further in discussing that the Republican Party is not waging a war on women, and how this rate of government spending is not helping to create jobs for the American people. While she made clear her points, they failed to strike a contrast against the strong backdrop of the State of the Union. Congresswoman Rodgers failed to make her message believable. The response seemed bland and un-moving. This is the second year in a row; the GOP has failed to stand on a strong and credible platform. Some Republicans have used the strong tone of the President’s address seeking tyrannical liberties. Other members of the GOP cite that the President did not present any new ideas from this address. The GOP seems disjointed in how to better attack the President on major issues. With midterm elections around the corner, a coordinated effort is needed soon to ensure majority remain in the House; as well as, gaining the upper hand in the Senate.