How Obama Might Address the State of His Party

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 goals from Obama’s 2014 State of the Union: Yay or Nay?.

President Barack Obama used his last State of the Union to declare 2014 a “Year of Action,” and he can claim credit for accomplishing several of the goals he laid out.

That’s because while he was able to check off most of what he promised to do through executive action in last year’s speech, Obama was unable in the bitterly partisan election year to get Congress to go along with the bigger plans he had for the country that required their approval. If partisan dysfunction was a problem then, when Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, this newly sworn in GOP-controlled Congress doesn’t bode well for many of the agenda items in Obama’s address. While the contingent includes a 13-year-old boy who wrote a letter to the President pleading for his south Chicago community to become safer, and police and community leaders in Los Angeles, none of the guests have direct ties to the Ferguson shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, by Police Officer Darren Wilson; or other cases of police-involved deaths in New York City and Cleveland. As Obama prepares to make that annual trek up Pennsylvania Avenue to address Congress once again, here’s a look back a year later at five of the promises he made — and which got fulfilled and denied. “Let’s get immigration reform done this year,” Obama declared to a Congress that had long blocked his efforts. In fact, political analysts see his policy proposals – which include paid sick leave and free community college for qualified students – as more of a wish-list for the next Democratic nominee to take on, not a doable agenda for this political environment.

The dominant theme of the annual address, as forecast by recent Obama speeches and presidential events, appears centered on the claim that the U.S. turned the corneer out of the Great Recession next year, and that it will make fairness in that recovery a major push of Obama’s last two years in office. “Now that we have fought our way through this crisis, how do we make sure that everybody in this country, how do we make sure that they are sharing in this growing economy?’ Obama said in a video promoting the speech released by the White House Monday. And so he did, although it was not the broad plan he envisioned that would have allowed a path to citizenship for more than 11 immigrants illegally in the United States. But the evidence of the opinion polls often suggests that big speeches are more important for party morale – and for the morale of their opponents – than in changing the wider mood.

Sixty-four percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, a December NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found, and less than half approve of Obama’s job. The year’s group includes astronaut Scott Kelly, the president and CEO of CVS Health and eight people who wrote letters to Obama, including four he spent time with last year. That makes the tone of his remarks exceptionally important: Does he stress the (relatively few) areas where there is the potential for agreement, or lay down political markers by focusing on the areas where the two sides have little realistic chance of agreement? He is expected to push programs to boost economic opportunities for the middle class, raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, federal aid to provide two free years of community college. Instead, Obama took executive action to make more than 4 million of those immigrants eligible for protection from deportation and eligible for work permits.

These initiatives have drawn opposition from Republicans who control Congress, and who accuse Obama of executive overreach and returning to tax-and-spend policies that would hurt the economic recovery. We have won convincing victories in back-to-back presidential elections, and identified a potentially powerful presidential-election coalition that is relatively young and, if we play it right, can serve us well for years to come. In 1789, it was perhaps useful to remind the president of the importance of keeping Congress (then numbering fewer than 100 people) up to speed on what was happening in the nation on the whole. For years, Obama has been asking Congress to encourage more Americans to grow a retirement nest egg by allowing all workers to be automatically enrolled in IRAs unless they specifically opt out.

Alan Gross was recently released from the Cuban jail after five years of imprisonment, simultaneously with Obama’s announcement he would use executive orders to begin normalizing relations with Cuba. While most of Obama’s proposals last year were positions he had long advocated, one of the few new proposals he offered was extension of the earned-income tax credit, which helps boost the wages of low-income families through tax refunds. Scientists will compare medical data from the brothers to understand how the human body responds to longer durations in space.á CVS Health pulled cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products from its store shelves last year, a move that was applauded by Obama, a former smoker often seen chewing nicotine gum. His poll numbers haven’t been helped by the speech; on average, his approval as measured by Gallup has been a point lower the week after his addresses, compared to the week prior.

Obama wanted it broadened to provide more help to workers without children, a view embraced by some Republicans and conservative economists. “Let’s work together to strengthen the credit, reward work, and help more Americans get ahead,” Obama said optimistically — too optimistically, it turned out. Roosevelt, with World War II looming, used his 1941 address to outline the “Four Freedoms” — freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. NBC News’ Mark Murray compiled a list of information by which to compare the state of our union when Obama first took office, and the state of our union heading into his presidency’s fourth quarter. N.C., who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2013 while uninsured, but who got covered under the Affordable Care Act and in August had the tumor removed. • Phillip C.

Obama said the goal of his energy policy is to create jobs and a cleaner planet and announced that he wanted to set higher fuel economy standards for trucks. Take a look and decide for yourself what track the country’s on: SOURCES: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Conference Board, Commerce Dept., Census Bureau, Congressional Budget Office, Treasury Dept., NBC/WSJ poll, NBC reporting.

Tingirides, of the Los Angeles Police Captain who leads a “Community Safety Partnership” that has been credited for reducing violent crime in the Watts neighborhood. •State Sen. Bush, in the first live webcast, outlined plans for a “war on terror” four months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York and Washington.

The process for making the change is underway within the administration, with a new regulation planned to be proposed in March 2015 and finalized in March 2016. Obama is eager for his ideas to be heard by the public that he’s embraced the fragmentation of the media, announcing his community college plan with a Vine and Facebook for his immigration action.

After Tuesday’s speech, he’ll take questions from a category of people known as “YouTube stars,” one of whom is fond of green lipstick and whose 2012 video of her choking on cinnamon has been viewed 42 million times. (If you don’t feel like doing the math, that’s 126 percent of Obama’s live 2014 SOTU audience.) A bigger problem, though, is that Americans simply are no longer that impressed by the pageantry of the presidency. And it has seen presidents make proposals that never happen, such as Ronald Reagan’s call for a missile defense shield to protect against nuclear attack or Obama’s vision of 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by this year. If he wants to avoid premature lame-duck status, he must therefore use the powers that a president possesses, including executive action and the power to persuade.

Some will argue that this is partly the result of Republicans’ control of state governments, which has allowed them to draw House districts to their favor. It gives the president an excuse to talk about his policy priorities, but he certainly doesn’t need to gather everyone together in the Capitol to do that. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already knows (and has likely already dismissed) Obama’s key policy goals — immigration, community colleges — even without Obama’s big address.

But Tuesday’s speech at least gives Mr Obama the platform to outflank the many senior Republicans who have begun to talk, albeit with very vague prescriptions, about long-term US wage stagnation. So Obama walks onto the House floor, passing through an effusive crowd of legislators as they imagine themselves making that same walk, and the Great Spectacle of Washington is upheld. America needs to hear its president talk in primetime about issues such as immigration, race and climate change, even though Congress has no intention of supporting the president on any of them. Fugate wrote to Obama to share how he went from being an unemployed new father to getting his degree and helping low-income patients obtain medical care.

Mr Obama also has a good story to tell in the shape of the economic growth rate, which rose to 5% at the end of 2014, and the fall in the unemployment rate, now at 5.8% after hitting 10% in 2009. Because this is what happens in Washington, D.C. — because this is what has happened in Washington, D.C., and, let’s face it, politicians don’t come here to upset the apple cart. As any baseball team knows, winning a World Series this year doesn’t guarantee any future success if the minor-league system has fallen on hard times. But unless we again pair that with a viable coalition in congressional elections, we won’t be able to produce results—and the power of our presidential coalition could suffer in the long run as a result. Hammer is a sea-level researcher who studies how cities and other areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change also have large Hispanic populations.

The University of Hartford freshman once had to rise at 4:30 a.m. to get to school after his family was evicted and forced to live in a homeless shelter. Last year, she obtained coverage under the law and had surgery to remove a potentially fatal brain tumor that was diagnosed in May 2013, when she had no health insurance. Pham is a government computer scientist who works to improve health information technology, expand access to benefits for veterans and improve the way government provides services to families like hers. Shetty is the global emergency health coordinator for International Medical Corps, a partner in the U.S.-backed effort to control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

After prison, Walker became a construction engineer and has worked to improve relations among law enforcement, community activists, parents and the children of local housing projects. Woodward started a second job working on Chrysler’s assembly line in 2010 to help support herself and three children, including one with special needs.

A student at Northwood University, Zamora was brought to the U.S. illegally as a child and has benefited under Obama’s program to defer deportations for eligible immigrants.

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