News / USA

Obama to Deliver Second State of the Union Address

US President Obama (file photo)
US President Obama (file photo)

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +

President Barack Obama delivers his second State of the Union Address to the nation on Tuesday, before a joint session of the U.S. Congress.  

President Barack Obama will face a dramatically altered balance of power in the House of Representatives when he addresses Congress and the nation Tuesday in his State of the Union address.

Republicans are now in the majority in the House, and they have already approved a repeal of Mr. Obama's landmark reform of the U.S. health care system.  The move was symbolic, since the bill will die in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats and Independents still hold a majority.

Presidents traditionally use State of the Union addresses to assess the nation's condition, on everything from the economy to foreign policy.  They also use the speech to lay out agendas - and often propose new ideas, or changes in thinking they want Americans to consider.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says Mr. Obama is likely to focus on efforts to repair the economy.

"The steps that the president believes our country has to take to continue that economic recovery, steps that we need to take in the short term that relate to jobs, and steps that we need to take in the medium and long term to put our fiscal house in order and to increase our competitiveness and our innovation that allows us to create the jobs of tomorrow," said Gibbs.

Mr. Obama goes into this national speech enjoying a substantial positive bump in public approval ratings.  This is due to legislative victories, including some made possible by his controversial compromise with Republicans to extend Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans while extending government unemployment benefits

"We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another, that's entirely up to us," said Obama.

Brighter approval ratings are also due to what Americans view as Obama's skilled handling of a speech honoring the victims of recent shootings in Tucson, Arizona, in which he urged more civility in the national discourse.

Political analyst John Fortier of the American Enterprise Institute says had the president delivered the State of the Union Address directly after last November's mid-term congressional elections, he would be in a weaker position.

But compromises he struck with Republicans have positioned him as someone pursuing a new pragmatism, something Americans appreciate.

"You do see the president already having some indication that he is moving to the middle, that he has a kind of pragmatism," noted Fortier.

This State of the Union Address comes as nearly 150,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan and Iraq, with opinion polls showing the Afghan war extremely unpopular among Americans.    Mr. Obama will again pay tribute to the sacrifices of the military.

Whatever the themes of the address, it's all but confirmed that President Obama intends to stand for re-election.

With a re-tooled White House staff helping to further cement his image as a political moderate rather than a far left liberal, and deal with strengthened Republican control of Congress, he is already establishing the political machinery for 2012.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid