22 January 2015 - Obama's State of the Union speech
More than a speech, State of the Union is now a season
Gregory Korte (USA Today)
WASHINGTON — President Obama made four veto threats, asked Congress to pass seven or eight bills, and announced an executive action on paid sick leave Tuesday.
But of all the powers of the presidency on display during his State of the Union Address, the most important may have been the speech itself. Obama mustered all the presidency's powers of persuasion to tell the nation what he wants to do with his last two years in office.
History may mark it as a speech notable as much for how he gave it as what he said. It was the first State of the Union speech released publicly ahead of time so people could follow along.
Despite a long-term trend of lower ratings — or perhaps because of them — the White House aggressively promoted the speech via social media: from interviews with YouTube celebrities to Facebook posts of Obama's tan suit; from 140-character posts on Twitter to the long-form Medium, where all 6,493 words of the speech were posted in advance.
Michael A. Memoli (The Chicago Tribune)
There was no reference to the electoral drubbing his party suffered last fall, nor a deferential tribute to the new Republican Senate majority leader. The only elections that a self-assured President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union address were his own victories.
Yet for all his confidence, the initiatives the president outlined were mostly small-bore, or have little chance of becoming law in the face of congressional opposition.
Such relatively modest proposals represent a shift by the White House away from swinging for the fences to a more methodical approach to policymaking. Having spent much of his first six years in office expending significant political capital on heavy-lift initiatives like the Affordable Care Act, the president instead presented more digestible ideas meant to help extend the benefits of the growing economy to the middle class.
Eugene Robinson (The Washington Post - blogs)
We got two State of the Union speeches in one tonight. One, laying out President Obama’s domestic policy initiatives, was detailed, specific, fact-filled, forward-looking, ambitious and replete with a certain swagger. The other, on foreign affairs, not so much.
Obama and his advisers clearly believe they have the wind at their back, with the president’s approval numbers finally rising as the economic recovery gains steam. Closing tax loopholes for the rich, providing free community college, helping families afford child care and requiring that workers be allowed to earn paid sick leave all sound great to me, although Republicans reacted with stony silence. At a minimum, Obama set out a progressive agenda whose items can be ticked off when Democrats have the votes to do it.
The president, at times, also managed to recapture the soaring lyricism of his campaign speeches and some of the brio of the days when his party controlled Congress. His acknowledgement of his own flaws and his call for “a better politics” that goes beyond “arguing past each other on cable shows” must have drawn amens. His ad-libbed reminder that he won the last two presidential elections was probably the line of the night.
Aaron Blake (The Washington Post)
President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night was long. It was also pretty chock full of complex topics and political language that requires a bit of decoding.
Which is where The Fix comes in. Below, we have isolated some key passages of Obama's prepared remarks and then provided a political translation. (And here's the full transcript.)
“We are 15 years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many."
TRANSLATION: I was dealt a tough hand. This is my periodic reminder of that.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"22 January 2015 - Obama's State of the Union speech", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), janvier 2015. Consulté le 09/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/22-january-2015-obama-s-state-of-the-union-speech