In the midst of terrorism, Obama talks college tuition
To be fair, President Obama is not the first president to turn the State of the Union into a show, from selected guests to pandering for votes. Nevertheless, my guess is that President Obama will take the circus to a new level tonight, in large part because he's got so little going for him.
President Obama's problem is that the country is not in a mood for hearing about college tuition or another round of class warfare.
According to The Hill, Americans are very concerned about terrorism:
For the first time in five years, Americans consider fighting terrorism as much a policy priority as improving the economy, according a poll released Thursday.
The Pew Research Center reports that 75 percent of adults called strengthening the economy a top priority, part of a downward slide since 86 percent named it in January 2013.
Seventy-six percent said fighting terrorism was the top priority.
The poll also shows, as polls always show, that the economy is high on the list.
And speaking of the economy, the middle class is not happy, according to this report at Reuters:
Barack Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue.
This will be a challenge for a president who would rather do slogans about college tuition and global warming. It's tough to do slogans after 6 years.
President Obama has a choice:
1) He can give a speech directed at his disillusioned base, a call for more spending and government intervention in this and that. It will be met by constant applause from the Democrats still left in Congress after six years of President Obama. The speech will inspire little confidence outside the Capitol and will quickly disappear into that cemetery where so many of these speeches get buried in. Or,
2) He can address the nation's terror concerns, from ISIS gaining ground in the Middle East to home-grown terrorism. He can also address job creation and wage stagnation, two complicated problems that need concrete solutions rather than more slogans.
My guess is that he will choose the first option and continue to be seen by most Americans as "a man in over his head" and not serious about our problems.
Furthermore, Tuesday's show will drive more people to the growing list of those of us who would rather see the SOTU "texted" to Congress than an hour of inconsequential rhetoric. As for me, I will keep an eye on the Mavericks or Stars and check the internet for the speech's highlights!