News / USA

Obama to Deliver Second State of the Union Address

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

Multimedia

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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid