Remarks of President Barack Obama in State of the Union Address — As Prepared for Delivery
State of the Union Address, Washington, DC
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.
It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.
But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference.
We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.
That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.
Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.
I believe we can. I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics. (more…)
“Five Keys to the State of the Union Address,” reads one headline, “What Obama Should Say at State of the Union,” reads another. From cable channels, to the opinion pages and across the tubes of the internet, the dominant babble, today, yesterday and tomorrow is the SOTU.
Provided for in the constitution in article 2, the state of the union address is among our most treasured and enduring annual exercises in political theater and pointless blather.
Article II. Section 3.
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
In my reading of this section I fail to find the words “interminable and boring” but over the years those two terms have come to describe the event that has become a deeply entrenched tradition on the 3rd Wednesday in January.
Steeped in protocol, (the actual Latin word for bullshit) the President enters the great dome of our hallowed national chamber of public corruption, along the way receiving hugs, kisses, and handshakes from dozens of people who despise him. Every movement of all parties involved is meticulously scripted and choreographed as if the event were a royal wedding directed by the high priests of some obsessively constipated Druidic cult. (more…)