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Tag Archives: State of the Union 2012

Obama Uses State of the Union to Raise Cash

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.

Why Valerie Jarrett Will be Sitting with Michelle

If you want to know where the White House’s head is at, you need to take a look at who is sitting in the First Lady’s box tonight during the State of the Union, and who is not.

The only senior White House staffer who will have an honored position with Michelle is senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s consigliere from Chicago.

Jarrett and Michelle are the keepers of the liberal flame within the White House, the anti-moderation crowd who remind President Obama what his core convictions are when he gets sidetracked by White House dealmakers.

I'm in charge now. Photo by Keith Koffler

Jarrett has outlasted those with whom she has clashed, including departing Chief of Staff William Daley and former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, both pragmatic Washington insiders.

She has emerged unscathed from the report in a recent book about her confrontation with ex-Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, in which she said – quite possibly falsely – that Michelle was unhappy with his handling of a matter involving something Michelle supposedly confided to French First Lady.

Gibbs, another Washington-based pragmatist, said he never took Jarrett seriously as an Obama adviser again. Soon enough after the event, he was gone.

It is already clear the White House will be running a campaign based on liberal values and in opposition to a “do nothing” Congress. The sight of Michelle and Jarrett together as he delivers his State of the Union speech is a clear sign that this will be a year of undiluted liberal orthodoxy.

One more sign? This will be the fourteenth State of the Union address I’ve covered. It’s the first one I can remember in which the White House director of legislative affairs, the person responsible for driving the president’s agenda in Congress, will not be in the first lady’s box.

Because this year, he won’t be needed.

Carney Suggests SOTU Will Tack to the Hard Left

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.