President Obama delivered the State of the Union last night, and he moved the agenda to job creation and the economy, removing his focus on health care reform. He also candidly acknowledged error, but challenged both parties to focus on governing, and to stop trying to score short term political gain. He announced an executive order creating a biparisan deficit commission, and although health care was not front and center the President made it clear that he still favored reform, and covering the uninsured. He challenged Republican and Democrat alike to come up with something better if they disagreed with him, but not to leave health care in its current state.
A good speech, in my view, but one that needs the necessary follow through. Fair or not the American public is looking for results. If he can deliver on jobs and the economy he will solve a big chunk of his political problem. If not he and the Democratic Party will be in for some tough times. The Republican response, from Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, is posted as well.
An interesting side note came with the apparent head nod of disagreement given by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to the President’s criticism of their recent corporate free speech decision. Alito appears to be saying “not true” as the President issued his criticism. I had speculated at the Tribune live chat on what the response might be by the Supremes to the coming criticism, and it appears that that Alito may have broken with tradition by his mannerisms.
So what about it? Did the President manage to help himself with this speech?