Jan 13, 2016 1:21 PM

Landrigan: An analysis of President Obama's State of the Union Address


The dirty little secret on Capitol Hill is that State of the Union speeches are rarely memorable as they are deeply partisan and rely upon an endless recitation of accomplishments along with unfinished agenda items.

President Barack Obama sought to make this one more lasting than most by focusing less on what needs to be done this year and more on what lies ahead for the next five-to-10 years.

What was most notable was Obama's most vigorous attempt to belittle the threat posed by ISIS along with his call for Congress to do more about making sure economic recovery extends through all of society and not just the super wealthy.

What's also worth noting in this speech is the Republican decision to promote a prominent, articulate woman to give the opposition address, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Healey.

With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination, a GOP clearly wants to signal that this party has its own cadre of articulate, attractive women to promote in 2016. It speaks to the reality of at least a 50-50 shot that a woman may be on the GOP presidential ticket in 2016.

Finally, there's no surprise that Obama would evoke the need to do something about rampant gun violence and mass shootings in America.

Some of Obama's best speeches came in response to that unspeakable carnage, in 2001 responding to the near assassination of former Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords in Tuscon, Arizona, and two years later in Newtown, Conn. where Obama tearfully recalled the names of all 20 elementary school children gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School.


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