If there was any question whether President Obama’s State of the Union address was actually a prettied up campaign speech, Obama himself answered it with an email to supporters just before his appearance asking them to contribute to his campaign.
The email, titled “Before I speak,” was sent by “Barack Obama” through the campaign email system and signed, “Barack.” Here’s the full text:
I’m heading to Capitol Hill soon to deliver my third State of the Union address.
Before I go, I want to say thanks for everything you’re doing.
Tonight, we set the tone for the year ahead. I’m going to lay out in concrete terms the path we need to take as a country if we want an economy that works for everyone and rewards hard work and responsibility.
I’m glad to know you’ll be standing with me up there.
Support President Obama. Make a donation today.
The last sentence in the email includes a link that brings recipients to a page where they can make their donation.
Also telling is Obama’s remark that the speech will “set the tone for the year ahead.” When you say to your political supporters that you are setting “a tone,” it seems a pretty clear reference to a campaign theme, not a list of serious proposals that might pass Congress and help the economy.