Wednesday, January 27, 2010

States of the Union

President Obama's State of the Union message is underway with an emphasis on jobs, on which there is much agreement as a top priority, though there is sure to be much debate about the specifics.. Much of it is his standard content and style.

As a positive surprise, the President did endorse nuclear power plants and apparently some new offshore oil drilling as part of a comprehensive energy strategy. Still talks about " overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change." Hasn't he heard of Climategate?

Export reform mentioned, including hint of reforming export controls consistent with national security.

The unavoidable topic of deficits and the need to address spending is addressed. Calls for a bipartisan commission to address the deficit challenge. I don't think the back-handed Bush-bashing will help win bipartisan support.

Wants to meet more with Republicans. One election in Massachusetts does make a difference.

Addressing National security, terrorism, Afghanistan and Iraq.

In summary, a laundry list of proposals, good, bad and TBD. Vows to keep fighting, but I don't think his defiant tone will win over the growing skepticism in the nation. Here's the text of the speech.

Next up, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell with the Republican response. (Here's the text.) Jobs first priority in the response as well. Addresses deficits and the need to address the proper role of limited government. Recommends "common sense" health reform. Supports comprehensive and innovative energy policy.

Supports Obama's actions in Afghanistan but concerned about response to terrorist threat.

"Government closest to the people governs best." "America must always be a land where liberty and property are valued and respected, and innocent human life is protected."

Two speeches. Definitely two contrasting visions for America.

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