Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weighing in on Obama's SOTU

Time to weigh in on the state of the union!

First, I thought the seating arrangement was interesting and welcome. Republicans and Democrats sat among each other. I think it was a nice symbol of national unity after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. It also hints at a possibly less partisan future when politicians toe the party line less and think for themselves. Instead of standing up and clapping (or sitting) in unison with members of their party, politicians were looking at members of the party and considering their reactions. Let’s hope the political process reflects this in the future.

Now let’s look at the substance of the speech. I thought Obama did an effective job taking a more “centrist” tack and sounding responsible. He proposed a five year spending freeze on discretionary spending. He made a nod towards lowering the business tax rate, and talked about reorganizing and consolidating government agencies, all things that Republicans and Democrats can support.

The biggest story of course will be what happens over the next few months as contentious debates over raising the debt ceiling or repealing healthcare are held. For now, Obama looks to be in a decent position.

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