The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 9, 2013

Obama's State of Union address to focus on economy, jobs


In that respect, Obama is more akin to Clinton, whose 1997 address came after confrontations with Republicans in Congress that shut down the government. "We face no imminent threat, but we do have an enemy," Clinton said. "The enemy of our time is inaction."

With decisions to be made over automatic spending cuts and borrowing limits, Obama will warn again, as a prime-time television audience watches, that the members of Congress before him must first do no harm to a still-fragile economy.

"He hopes to be able to put that in the most stark terms possible for the American people," said one of the senior administration officials.

The past three two-term presidents have delivered this post-reelection State of the Union at times of cold war (Reagan), no war (Clinton) and hot war (Bush).

Obama's tenure falls toward the hot-war end of the spectrum, and he will highlight the end of the Iraq war on his watch and outline the scheduled withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan by the end of next year.

To the extent that he dwells on foreign policy at all, Obama will probably focus on how the United States' role in the world will serve economic interests at home. It is a State of the Union message not only for an American audience but also for one watching internationally.

"We need a strong economy to lead the world, and leading the world contributes to our strength at home," said Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Alterman said he is often struck by how closely foreign leaders, diplomats and others follow "the president's back-and-forth with Congress."

"In this globalized world, it matters to people what happens in U.S. politics every day," he said. "And if it seems like we can't connect our intentions to our abilities, that is seen not only as a domestic problem for us but also as a problem for the world."

Text Only
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video