Advice for President Obama’s State of the Union


Because the general themes that President Obama will touch upon in his State of the Union address tonight have, as always, already been reported, the speech shouldn’t contain too many surprises. The economy, of course, is going to be the focus, and Obama is expected to “lay out his case for investment in education and infrastructure, while tempering his call for new initiatives with an acknowledgment of the country’s long-term fiscal challenges.” With regard to the deficit, Obama is “not expected to get into the details and will instead call for members of both parties to work together to tackle the problem, according to congressional and administration sources.” But questions remain: How will Obama pitch his ideas to a divided Congress? How does he convince spending-wary America that investment is not an evil thing? How upbeat can he be about the economic recovery without seeming out of touch? Should he be bold and inspiring, or just settle for good enough? Pundits from across the political spectrum are laying out these challenges, and giving advice, in the hours leading up to the big speech.

Chris Cillizza, Fix/WP:

Michael Crowley, Swampland/Time:

David Brooks, NYT:

Bill Clinton Speechwriter Michael Waldman, Politico:

Aamer Madhani, National Journal:

Perry Bacon Jr., WP:

William Galston, New Republic:

Andrew Malcolm, Top of the Ticket/LAT:

Chris Stirewalt, Fox News:

Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight/New York Times:

John T. Woolley, chair of the political science department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, NPR: