- BRIEF, POST-ADDRESS ANALYSIS
According to CNN, Obama spoke for 52 minutes.
That’s nearly half an hour of trying to assure Americans and whomever else was watching that the federal stimulus package will jumpstart the economy, create jobs and start down the path of solving long-term problems in energy, education and health care. The rest of the speech addressed his promises of cutting the federal deficit by half and issuing tax breaks, as well as foreign policy issues.
And, of course, it ended on a note of bipartisanship.
Why wasn’t this the State of the Union address?
There were so many promises made, but so few details revealed — at least, about the questions I have. I hoped to hear more about stimulating the financial system and what the states specifically can do to promote growth in energy, education and health care, but to promise to find a cure for cancer and reform health care this year and deliver tax cuts to 95 percent of working Americans? Those were not the details I expected or wanted to hear.
Obama’s full, prepared remarks can be found HERE, courtesy of BreakingNewsOn.
Next up: live-blogging of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s response on behalf of the Republican Party.
- 9:09 p.m. CST —
Obama ends his first Congressional address on a note of bipartisanship:
“I know that we haven’t agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.
“And if we do – if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis; if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity; if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then someday years from now our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, “something worthy to be remembered.” Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.”
- 9:03 p.m. CST —
“Those of us gathered here tonight have been called to govern in extraordinary times. It is a tremendous burden, but also a great privilege – one that has been entrusted to few generations of Americans. For in our hands lies the ability to shape our world for good or for ill.”
This statement sings of manifest destiny, sans the religious implications. Or maybe I’m just being cynical.
- 9:01 p.m. CST —
“I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget. That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.”
We’ll hold you to that promise of transparency.
Or, we’d better.
The dwindling number of D.C. reporters is somewhat frightening.
- 8:50 p.m. CST —
Standing ovation on “And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American.”
Obama promises that the U.S. will, in 11 years, have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
Aside from offering tuition reduction incentives and supporting teachers, what are the federal and state governments going to do to motivate students to go to school?
And there’s been no mention of worker training/retraining, which I know is a large component of Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D-Mo.) Transform Missouri Initiative.
- 8:45 p.m. CST —
A cure for cancer? Really? What kind of cancer? There are hundreds of kinds of cancers.
- 8:43 p.m. CST —
“But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy.”
According to a friend of mine who keeps up-to-date on this in scientific journals, a) there hasn’t been a serious study confirming global warming published in a credible journal since the 1980s and b) it’s too late to try and correct what damage has already been done.
That’s a secondary source, mind you, so I can’t stand 100 percent behind what my friend has told me. But that’s what I’m told.
- 8:39 p.m. CST —
“The budget I submit will invest in the three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic future: energy, health care, and education.”
Standing ovation on “Well, I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders – and I know you don’t either. It is time for America to lead again.”
- 8:32 p.m. CST —
Standing ovation on “I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system.”
- 8:30 p.m. CST —
“And our goal is to quicken the day when we re-start lending to the American people and American business and end this crisis once and for all.”
But according to numerous news sources, Obama is not ruling out the necessity of a second stimulus.
- 8:26 p.m. CST —
- 8:22 p.m. CST —
“It’s an agenda that begins with jobs.”
I want to know how long-lasting these jobs will be. Most of the 3.5 million jobs created by the ARRA deal with construction projects, infrastructure improvements/developments and other such projects that have a definite time-stamp on them due to the stipulations and fund limitations of the ARRA. Beyond December 2010 — what will happen to these jobs once the funds dry up? Republicans in the Missouri legislature and other state legislatures have been asking what will happen to the projects after the funds are no longer there to finance them. But what happens to the jobs?
- 8:18 p.m. CST —
- 8:13 p.m. CST —
Obama is still making his way to the front. Here are some Politico articles about Obama and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R-La.) response.
According to the Washington Post, Jindal wrote his own speech.
- 8:09 p.m. CST —
To be honest, I haven’t had a chance to read the released excerpts of Obama’s speech — I’ve been in class all day and barely had time to make dinner before sitting down in front of the television. That disclaimer said, I’m wondering what exactly Obama will be saying about the federal stimulus package that hasn’t already been said. He’s already attempted to reach across the aisle. If Americans aren’t already convinced of the wisdom or tomfoolery of the stimulus, what is he going to say that would change their minds? Is he going to try, even?
Enter the press photographers. I’m jealous.
- 8:04 p.m. CST —
Michelle Obama enters. The pilot and copilot of the Hudson River landing are also in attendance.
This is my first attempt at live-blogging an event, speech or otherwise, so I’m on unsteady footing here. Not quite sure what kind of commentary I’ll be providing.
Obama’s Cabinet members — those who have been appointed and approved already, anyway — are entering.
- 8:01 p.m. CST —
According to several news reports and excerpts of Pres. Barack Obama’s speech, this Congressional address will focus on the federal stimulus package and fiscal responsibility and not so much on foreign affairs. I don’t think anyone expected anything else.
Good to see Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg out and about!
Update: I LOVE this interactive feature from The New York Times — an interactive video/transcript of Obama’s address, and it’s searchable!. They’ve done this with other speeches. I just love it.