USA Today: “President Obama delivers his annual State of the Union speech Tuesday night, but it will be months and maybe years before we know how well he did. The success of any State of the Union -- addresses that presidents have been giving for more than 200 years -- depends on the success of the policies and laws that are advocated by the speaker.”
USA Today looks at six State of the Union addresses that were influential: 1. The Monroe Doctrine (Dec. 2, 1823), 2. Gold in California (Dec. 5, 1848), 3. The Civil War (Dec. 1, 1862), 4. The Four Freedoms (Jan. 6, 1941), 5. The War on Poverty (Jan. 8, 1964), and 6. Axis of Evil (Jan. 29, 2002).
The AP: “As President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, he presides over an economy much healthier than the one he inherited four years ago. Yet growth remains slow and unemployment high.”
More AP: “The American public will get a competing mix of rhetoric and imagery in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday, a speech that offers a heavy dose on the economy even as it plays out against a visual backdrop dominated by the current national debate over guns. … in the galleries above the rostrum of the House of Representatives where Obama will speak, many of the faces looking down on him will be those of Americans thrust into the politics of gun violence.”
The Hill: “President Obama will use his State of the Union speech Tuesday to turn public opinion against automatic spending cuts and argue that some of the money to replace the cuts should instead come from higher taxes.”
“President Obama is expected to launch a serious second-term push on climate change with his State of the Union address,” The Hill writes. “With climate legislation dead in Congress, green groups are hopeful that Obama will follow the ‘we must act’ mantra of his inaugural address and put the full weight of his executive powers behind their agenda.”
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent presses Obama to be aggressive. “If Obama makes good on the threat to be aggressive, there will be a great deal of gnashing of teeth among Republicans — and even neutral commentators — about his lack of “bipartisan outreach.” But Obama’s victory demonstrates that there is an emerging majority coalition of minorities, young voters, and college educated whites, especially women, that broadly shares his vision of governing.”
The GOP response: “Republicans intend to cast President Barack Obama’s second-term agenda as more ‘big government’ and offer a series of steps to boost economic growth and reduce the federal debt, countering the president’s agenda with competing visions for the country,” AP writes.