In his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, President Obama will pivot off themes expressed in remarks last month in Osomatomie, Kansas, a nakedly liberal manifesto that described a broken American society that has left working and poor people behind and that requires government intervention and moral leadership to fix it.
The remarks were widely viewed as a shot across the bow in which Obama signaled he would run as an unabashed liberal and govern the same way if reelected.
Obama Tuesday will also preach cooperation. But according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the Kansas speech contains the DNA of the State of the Union.
The president will build off the themes of that Kansas speech in the State of the Union by laying out a blueprint for an America built to last. The blueprint will be supported by four pillars: American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers and American values.
The Kansas speech included calls for higher taxes on the wealthy, more regulation, and increasing the current already historically high rate of spending on education, research, roads, railroads, job training and faster broadband, among other things.
In it, Obama snapped the class warfare card firmly on the table.
For most Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded. Those at the very top grew wealthier from their incomes and their investments — wealthier than ever before. But everybody else struggled with costs that were growing and paychecks that weren’t — and too many families found themselves racking up more and more debt just to keep up.
Obama caricatured Republicans as seeking brutal kind of Darwinian economic system that benefits their rich friends.
Their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules . . . “you’re-on-your-own-economics” has always failed.
And yet, Carney incongruously stated that Obama will say he believes he and Republicans can score legislative achievement this year.
It’s unclear how that can happen when Obama will be eschewing the center where compromise is struck.