Now, five years into his presidency, President Barack Obama is promising a bright future for Americans and their nation. After a brutal hit to the economy, a high unemployment rate, and much controversy, Obama is very optimistic in future plans for the US. He tells the American people that they’ve achieved the “lowest unemployment rate in over years,” that the deficit has been “cut by more than half.” With America being “the world’s number one place to invest,” the USA is now “better positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth.”
His positive, confident outlook is evidence America is doing well in comparison to his more earnest attitude during his first technical State of the Union. In 2010, he explains that he took office “amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a Government deeply in debt.” Obama is honest in telling Americans that “the devastation remains.” Obama points out that he and every other American “face big and difficult challenges.” The contrast in his tone demonstrates how prosperous the nation has become over the past five years.
In 1963, during his State of the Union, President Kennedy’s tone is similar to that of President Obama’s most recent State of the Union. Kennedy tells the American people that “the recession is behind” them. He informs them that “steady progress has been made in building a world of order.” However, with the promise of a coming second term soon, Kennedy only marinates the people in hope. He says, “we cannot be satisfied to rest here. This is the side of the hill, not the top. The mere absence of war is not peace. The mere absence of recession is not growth. We have made a beginning–but we have only begun.” This contrasts Obama’s tone which resembles a man that believes his job is well done, understandable because of coming end of his term.
Certainly this change in tone must be due to a president’s point in his terms.
Barack Obama: “Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the State of the Union,” January 28, 2014. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=104596.
Barack Obama: “Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union,” January 27, 2010. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=87433.
John F. Kennedy: “Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union.,” January 14, 1963. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9138.