What Obama Must Do In His State of the Union Speech
By Peter Roff
This one speech will not revive the president’s lagging fortunes but it still could make a big difference in the future.
In the strictest sense, the State of the Union is not a particularly important speech. The remarks given tonight by President Barack Obama will largely be a laundry list of proposals for the Congress to take up alongside statements of what he intends for the executive branch to do over the next twelve months.
If recent history is any guide, much of what he says tonight will be inoperative by the time the speech is over. As much as it appears to be about policy, the State of the Union’s purpose is largely political. It is an opportunity for the president to been seen by the electorate as the leader of the government and, sometimes, to been seen facing down a Congress controlled by the other party, as was the case with Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, among others.
This one speech will not revive the president’s lagging fortunes – some of the latest media polls show the streams have crossed and that more people now disapprove (within the margin or error) of his performance in office than disapprove. Nor will it launch a political comeback by propelling his numbers back into the lower stratosphere, where they rested comfortable during his first months in office.
What it will do is reinforce the electorate’s attitudes toward Obama such that a good speech will be marginally helpful while a bad speech may gently accelerate the decline already underway.
If Obama uses the opportunity given him tonight to draw new attention to the areas in which he has already stumbled, on health care and the environment, for example, it will be a bad speech…
Keep Reading: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/01/27/peter-roff-obama-state-union-speech