PRESIDENT OBAMA AT THE STATE-OF-THE -UNION
The President laid out a “Blueprint for an America built to last.” Despite the apparent confusion among the GOP, he is pushing forward.
Last Tuesday, President Barack Obama gave his last State-of-the-Union address before the next presidential election while the Republicans are trying to find someone to replace him next year. So far, they have had 3 state contests (2 primaries and one caucus) and 3 casualties – seeming to be developing a pattern – one after each contest, in each state.
Prior to heading to Capitol Hill, President Obama issued the following statement: “Tonight, we set the tone for the year ahead. I’m going to lay out in concrete terms, the path we need to take as a country, if we want an economy that works for everyone, and rewards hard work and responsibility.”
In his speech he stated, “Those are values that brought millions of people into this movement, and they remain the core values that unite us and shape our agenda for 2012 and beyond,” directing his speech to the majority of Americans – many of whom – are experiencing some form of hardship because of the economic malaise that he inherited from his predecessor. (It will take more than the three years that the President has been in office to fix/repair the puzzling economy that greeted him when he entered the White House).
Last month in Osawatomie, Kansas, he had talked about the central mission of his presidency at this point in time: “We are building a country and economy where we reward hard work and responsibility, where everyone does their fair share, and where everyone is held accountable for what they do-no matter how big their bank account is.”
Expanding on the Kansas speech in his State-of-the-Union address laid out a “Blueprint for an America built to last” focused on the following: the nation’s manufacturing, its energy policies, skills for American workers, and American values.
Those were some of the highlights of his speech and the President buttressed those four items by saying in part: “Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.
“The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.”
And to the naysayers – ‘the player-haters’ – he issued the challenge, “As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.”
Reactions to President came immediately from many sources. Portions of those reactions were from:
National Urban League’s president and CEO, Marc H. Morial who issued the following:
“President Obama’s vision for “An American Built To Last,” as described in tonight’s State of the Union address, stands firmly upon National Urban League policy proposals for job growth, education and economic empowerment. The President’s focus on the importance of job training coincides with the release of the National Urban League’s Plan to Educate, Employ & Empower, which can be found at www.iamempowered.com.
Roslyn M. Brock, Chairwoman of the NAACP National Board of Directors:
“President Obama’s address this evening emphasizing a renewal of American values around equity and fairness spoke directly to many of the critical policy principles that our members care deeply about and have been fighting for. The President’s proposals for job creation and to tackle the foreclosure crisis are critical steps toward ensuring that all Americans truly benefit from our nation’s recovery. We applaud him for addressing the NAACP’s long-standing priority of economic stability and progress in communities of color.”
Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO:
“President Obama has a plan for bringing jobs back – back to our country, back to every state, back to every block in the hardest-hit communities. Congress is dominated by obstructionists who are all too willing to let millions of families and children suffer endlessly if it advances their petty political purposes. It is time for America to be America again. It is time for the people to insist that politicians stop their partisan stalling. It is time for Congressional obstructionists to be a part of the solution and to show the leadership their constituents are dying for.”
Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy and Director of the Washington Bureau:
“Since the outset of the economic crisis, the NAACP has worked diligently to convince the President and Congressional leaders that job creation cannot wait.
We have met with President Obama several times, and have been encouraged by his vision for this country and this economy. We look forward to advocating on behalf of his forward-looking agenda. “
Also Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles issued this statement Tuesday evening on the President State-of-the-Union address:
“In his State of the Union address (tonight), President Obama presented an inspired and inspiring vision of an America built to last. An America where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.
“Last week, nearly 250 mayors gathered in Washington, D.C. We conferred with President Obama at the White House and released a detailed report on the state of the cities.
“In his address (tonight), President Obama showed the country that he will keep fighting for the investments we need to turn our economy around. At its heart, the speech was about renewing the basic bargain with the American middle class, especially those looking for work or struggling to pay their mortgage.”
All in all the President’s speech focused strongly on the economy.