Obama Nails the SOTU; GOP Reaction, Meh

President Barack Obama in Costa Mesa

President Barack Obama in Costa Mesa

From the State of the Union speech I heard, you’d hardly know the Democrats lost the Senate last fall.  President Barack Obama’s 6th State of the Union was masterful in its delivery and his message reasonated with the majority of the American people via a cool tool used by CNN.

Here’s the speech in full.  Key passages:

Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.

Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over. Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep us safe. We are humbled and grateful for your service.

America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this:

The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.

At this moment — with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production — we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come.

Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?

Will we approach the world fearful and reactive, dragged into costly conflicts that strain our military and set back our standing? Or will we lead wisely, using all elements of our power to defeat new threats and protect our planet?

Will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another — or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that has always propelled America forward?


At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. Instead, we’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years.

So the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way. We can’t slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns. We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix. And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, it will earn my veto.

The Republican response was delivered by Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa who has clearly replaced Michelle Bachman on the GOP’s crazy train.  She’s a Tea Party favorite and likes to talk about castrating hogs.  Here’s her speech and an excerpt:

We see our neighbors agonize over stagnant wages and lost jobs. We see the hurt caused by canceled healthcare plans and higher monthly insurance bills. We see too many moms and dads put their own dreams on hold while growing more fearful about the kind of future they’ll be able to leave to their children.

Americans have been hurting, but when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like Obamacare. It’s a mindset that gave us political talking points, not serious solutions.

That’s why the new Republican majority you elected started by reforming Congress to make it function again. And now, we’re working hard to pass the kind of serious job-creation ideas you deserve.

There’s a whole lot dedicated to her wearing bread bags over her feet to keep her shoes dry on rainy days as a kid that’s just lost on me; and many of the things she says the new Republican Congress is working towards is stuff they’ve blocked for a while now.  As a speaker, she lacked the charisma you expected from someone which designs on the White House, but at least she didn’t slip a sip of water like Senator Rubio did a few years ago.

  3 comments for “Obama Nails the SOTU; GOP Reaction, Meh

  1. RHacket
    January 21, 2015 at 8:04 am

    I laughed out loud at his retort to the cheering when he announced he had no more campaigns to run.

    This was easily one of the best speeches of presidency.

  2. Ltpar
    January 21, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    How do you know when Barry Soetoro, the Pied Piper of Chicago is lying? Every time his lips move while reading his left wing script from the teleprompter. Last night we witnessed an hour of him speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, while saying nothing of importance. As Barry knows, as well as the rest of us, the people have spoken and his days of being able to ram his agenda through Congress is over. That said, the ball is now in the court of the conservatives. They must demonstrate they can govern, work across the aisle with reasonable Democrats and put forth legislation dealing with important issues. If Barry vetos the legislation as promised, then he will be lessening the chances of Hillary Clinton following in his footsteps in 2016. Talk is cheap, Congress needs to show us some action.

  3. Over but not out
    January 22, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Your description is far from what I saw. I saw a President who has been unable to lead flailing about on issues that polls show are not top priorities for the voters while failing to address the many fronts of terrorism, the near loss of Iraq to ISIS, and throwing out red herrings like free Community College – (of course it woudl not be free as someone has to pay for it). An effective leader has a following, and the majority of Congress will not follow much of what was said. As for the surey of CNN viewers, it is not a valid sample of the public just as a survey of Fox News viewers would not be a valid sample of the universie of voters. Good try at cheerleading for the President, , but his speech, as well as the response by the Republicans, was a disappointing more of the same.

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