In 2010, one year into his presidency, Barack Obama delivered his first State of the Union. Many of the topics he brought up during 2010’s SOTU were reverberated in this year’s SOTU. In 2010, President Obama spoke of the unemployment in America by stating that there are “men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from, who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response.” However, this year, the President stated that the unemployment rate is at its lowest in 5 years. This is splendid news for all Americans, for it means that the economy is recovering. In a similar vein, the president, in 2010, wanted to double export in the next 5 years, in an increase that will support 2 million more jobs. This was partially supported by Obama’s assertion that the business sector is adding jobs for the first time since the 90’s.
The next big issue was healthcare. In his 2010 speech, the president was adamant about passing “Obamacare” not because he wanted to get a legislative victory, but because “millions will lose it [healthcare] this year.” His persistence led to the bill’s passing and in his 2014 speech the president cited specific facts, such as the number of people who have been helped and the fact that no one can be denied because of pre-existing conditions.
Another issue, that has been in the spotlight recently is climate change. In 2010, Obama acknowledged scepticism on this topic, but still encouraged these sceptics to reduce their carbon emission. In 2014, he stepped up his passive statement by firmly claiming “climate change is a fact.” Along with this statement, Obama offered alternatives to the tradition energy sources.
Overall, this State of the Union was a bragging run for President Obama. Even though he is far from being done with his presidency, he has acted upon the issues that he said need action. In the wake of the NSA scandal, it is good to see the President trying to bring the focus back onto what is important.
Obama, Barack H. “State of the union.” Washington, D.C. 28 Jan. 2014. Address.
Souza, Peter. Obama Boehner, State of the Union. 2011. Whitehouse.gov, Washington, D.C. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Obama_Boehner_State_of_the_Union_2011.jpg>.
Montopoli, Brian. “Obama’s State of the Union: Key Quotes.” CBS News. CBS, 27 Jan. 2010. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obamas-state-of-the-union-key-quotes/>.