Editorial: Obama gave country what it needed in SOTU


The White House

Obama at the 2011 State of the Union Address.

Editorial Board

President Obama delivered a look to the future and gave a nod to the past in his final State of the Union speech Tuesday, saying the state of our union is “strong.”

Obama veered from the traditional State of the Union, in which traditionally presidents would share a list of policy proposals, and shared more of his vision. The White House even called the address “non-traditional,” where Obama focused on what he thinks America should be, throwing in a few suggestions for whoever is elected next. The address was directed toward the vision of an American dream. Michelle Obama even wore a yellow dress, the color of optimism.

And that’s what the country needed right now.

The country is scared of outside threats and is in limbo as to who is going to be the next commander in chief. The economy is on the bounce back, but is still not in a desirable place. The immigration system and equal pay policy are not satisfactory to say the least. The country needed reassurance, a moment to remember more of the positive aspects of the past seven years and a push to place a mentality of optimism to the forefront.

However, Obama did miss out on addressing some of the most important issues facing the nation today. He missed the chance to lay out a more detailed plan to combat ISIS and, according to multiple Republican Senate and House members, downplayed the threat of terrorism to our nation. This is true. Obama addressed the issue, but didn’t provide a public, layed out solution to inform the public of the United States’ efforts in attacking terrorism, foreign and domestic. He skipped over gun violence, but in no way proposed a solution, only mentioning in one sentence in “protecting our kids from gun violence.”

Obama did, though, take his final address to make some bold statements. He shared a long list of accomplishments, including: America having “the strongest, most durable economy “ in the world; 14 million new jobs; unemployment cut in half; 900,000 new manufacturing jobs; and cutting the deficit by almost three-quarters.

He wants to shut down the prison in Guantanamo, calling it a “recruitment brochure” for our enemies. He encouraged a smart use of the ever-progressing world of technology.

He called for a change of politics, saying, “A better politics doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything. This is a big country, with different regions and attitudes and interests. That’s one of our strengths, too. Our Founders distributed power between states and branches of government, and expected us to argue, just as they did, over the size and shape of government, over commerce and foreign relations, over the meaning of liberty and the imperatives of security.”

He spoke of a fight against climate change, HIV/AIDS, hunger and made a monumental declaration in saying the United States is taking on an initiative to find the cure to cancer, to which Obama informed a blindsided Joe Biden that he’d be heading the operation.

So while Obama did neglect to properly address a few of the issues on his worldwide podium, he did give the country what it needs right now: optimism.