President Barack Obama is set to deliver his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday, and according to Time magazine he needs to outrun history if he wishes to escape the tradition of becoming a lame duck, which invariably dooms most second-term presidencies.
“With his approval ratings near all-time lows and Obamacare in the news for the wrong reasons, the President could use a last game-changing speech,” wrote Time’s Jay Newton-Small. He goes on to add that Obama’s window to turn things around is almost closed.
The Washington Post’s Marc A. Thiessen couldn’t agree more. On Monday, he wrote about the one “lie that hangs over” the president’s speech.
“Obama’s biggest problem is that his lie of the year in 2013 — ‘if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan’ — hangs over his speech and will continue to haunt him in 2014,” Thiessen said. “When people stop trusting you, they stop listening to you as well.”
According to Peter Baker at the New York Times, Obama recognizes that he has a small chance to achieve much legislatively this year with the help of Congress.
“As a result, aides said, he will present a blueprint for ‘a year of action’ on issues like income inequality and the environment that bypasses Congress and exercise his authority to the maximum extent,” wrote Baker.
The Nation’s George Zornick believes Obama should stress inequality in America, although early reports say he will take a more moderate approach.
“Obama should go big. Early reports of the president’s speech are already distressing some progressives,” Zornick wrote. “Apparently Obama is going to avoid taking on economic inequality head on, and will instead speak in terms of ‘paths of opportunity’ for lower- and middle-class Americans.”
Sen. Ted Cruz also thinks the president has an opportunity, but doesn’t think he will take ahold of it, as reported by Politico.
“This president consistently is not addressing the challenges facing this country,” Cruz said on Glenn Beck’s radio show on Thursday. “He’s going to propose raising the minimum wage. He’s going to propose more government spending. He’s going to propose more debt. He’s going to propose more taxes. He’s going to propose all of the policies that he’s been doing for the last five years that aren’t working and they are making the problem worse.”
Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at: