Obama Pushes Themes of State of the Union Address


U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing the themes of his State of the Union address - seeking public support for his policies at a politically charged moment in Washington. 

American presidents typically take to the road on the day after the State of the Union.   In appearances in big cities and small towns, they seek to build momentum for the policies and programs outlined in the annual address to Congress and the nation.

Thank you everybody! Hello Tampa!," said President Obama.

For President Obama, that meant a trip to Tampa, Florida where he made informal remarks and took questions at a local university.

He repeated the twin themes of the State of the Union, underscoring his determination to rebuild the economy, while at the same time overcoming "a deficit of trust in Washington."

"We are not going to rest until we have rebuilt an economy in which hard work and responsibility are rewarded and businesses are hiring again and wages are growing again and the middle class can get its legs underneath it again!," said Mr. Obama.

The president stressed creating jobs is his number one priority for 2010.   And he focused on one effort in particular - a government program to invest $8 billion in start-up funds for high-speed rail projects around the country.   One of the first lines will link Tampa with other Florida cities - creating  new construction jobs while providing modern, more efficient infrastructure.

"We want to start looking deep into the 21st century," said President Obama. "And we want to say to ourselves there is no reason why other countries can build high-speed rail lines and we can't!  And that is what is about to happen right here in Tampa!"

Most of the questions Mr. Obama faced during his appearance at the University of Tampa dealt with the economy and related issues.   But there was also an impassioned plea from a young woman for progress in the Middle East peace process and help for the Palestinian people.

The president did not refer to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute during his State of the Union address.  But in Tampa he spoke at some length about the long, complicated search for peace.  He talked about America's links to Israel, but added the United States must pay attention to the plight of the Palestinians.

"We have got to recognize that both the Palestinian people and Israelis have legitimate aspirations and they can be best served if the United States is helping them understand each other, as opposed to demonizing each other," said Mr. Obama.

On Friday, the president will continue his post-State of the Union push with a series of appearances in Baltimore, Maryland.   He will promote his policies to help small businesses, and will also address a gathering of Republican members of the House of Representatives.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs