Political expert reacts to Obama State of the Union speech

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

(WEAU) -- More than three months after President Obama won re-election in a heated race, he was back on stage tonight, in front of the country, laying out his vision for America.

The president started his speech by talking about the budget, saying congress has worked together but more needs to be done. Part of that included Medicare reform.

"And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made," President Obama said.

He called on reducing taxpayer subsidies to drug companies, called on wealthy seniors to pay more, and reform medical bills and testing.

A big part of the speech also focused on jobs. He said 500-thousand have been created in the last three years but more needs to be done.

"Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?" Obama said.

He said we need to make America a magnet for new manufacturing jobs and said the minimum wage should be bumped to $9 per hour.

He also touched on energy as well, calling on the American people to help cut home energy in half over the next 20 years and seeking state help to get the clean energy effort going.

That led to climate change.

"We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late," Obama said.

On top of that, he said we need to get America's infrastructure back in shape. Education needs to be reformed, helping more of America's children get into preschool and make high schools more modern.

He called on immigration reform at home and touched on several issues abroad.

"This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over," Obama said.

He ended the speech by addressing guns, even referencing the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin. He called for more background checks and less high power magazines on the streets, making the call personal.

"Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote," Obama said.

As the president spoke, WEAU's Political Analyst John Frank watched along with us. He says throughout the speech there were several moments that stood out to him -- including the bi-partisan tone the president brought.

However, he says the president touched on too many issues throughout the speech.

On Wednesday, he says the headline will be "now is the time." Frank says it was mentioned in the speech several times by Obama.


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