Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:25 am
In the first minute of his hourlong State of the Union address, President Barack Obama summed up his theme in single sentence: "Tonight, we turn the page."
The president then detailed a page of history filled with the financial crisis of 2008, the recession and unemployment and deficits that followed and the two distant and difficult wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
It was a reminder of the ills that helped elevate young Sen. Obama to the Oval Office six years ago. And now, after many battles, he was ready to declare he had turned that page.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:56 am
Facing a Republican-controlled Congress in his sixth State of the Union speech, President Obama took credit Tuesday for an improving economy and focused on proposals aimed at advancing the middle class.
After years of recession and war, Obama claimed "the shadow of crisis has passed." In its place, he asserted, is a future marked by "a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production."
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:14 pm
President Obama mentioned Congress 13 times in Tuesday's State of the Union address. He called on Congress to pass a law to ensure women are paid the same as men, to raise the minimum wage, to support the president's plan to make community college free, to help students with loans reduce their payments ... you get the idea.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 9:21 pm
Full text of the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address as prepared for delivery and given by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa):
I'm Joni Ernst. As a mother, a soldier, and a newly elected senator from the great State of Iowa, I am proud to speak with you tonight.
A few moments ago, we heard the President lay out his vision for the year to come. Even if we may not always agree, it's important to hear different points of view in this great country. We appreciate the President sharing his.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 8:31 pm
President Obama's State of the Union address as prepared for delivery on Jan. 20, 2015:
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:
We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 9:59 pm
President Obama's guest list for tonight's State of the Union address includes Alan Gross, the Maryland man who was freed from a Cuban prison in December after five years of captivity — an event that was announced along with a new era of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
Gross will be attending with his wife, Judy, who worked to gain his release.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:48 pm
Delivering his sixth State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama faced a Congress that's now controlled by his Republican opponents. His speech included possible areas of cooperation — and a threat to use his veto power.
Tax proposals that would boost middle-class families were in the president's speech; so were calls for a new approach to immigration and a push for free education at community colleges.
Obama also called on Congress to pass a resolution to authorize using military force against the extremist group ISIS.
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am
The State of the Union Machine is an online tool that randomly generates text based on different presidents' actual speeches. Nine presidents' words and phrases can be patched together to create a multi-administration text
Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:25 am
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that tests whether states may ban judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
For most of the last decade, the Supreme Court's conservative majority has systematically dismantled federal and state campaign finance laws enacted to limit corruption and the appearance of corruption in the legislative and executive branches of government. Tuesday's case is the first challenge targeted specifically at the judicial branch.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 5:06 pm
President Obama begins his seventh year in office Tuesday facing a Congress where both the House and Senate are in the hands of the opposition party. He shares this in common with every other president fortunate enough to even have a seventh year in office since the 1950s.
Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, Ronald Reagan in 1987, Bill Clinton in 1999 and George W. Bush in 2007 all climbed the rostrum for this late-in-the-game challenge looking out at majorities of the other party in both chambers.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 11:30 am
Presidents often characterize the state of the union as "strong." Last year, in fact, President Obama remarked: "It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong."
It seems whatever the crisis du jour is, the State of the Union address is a chance for the president to sneak in some optimism. In 2012, as the economy limped back, Obama still found occasion for the s-word: "The state of our union is getting stronger. And we've come too far to turn back now."
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 12:41 pm
The White House says it could consider congressional action against Iran later in the year, but emphasized it wants more time to see if negotiations over the Islamic republic's nuclear program can work.
"If Congress wants to act later in the year, we could consider that, but at the moment they ought to give us the space to let these negotiations work," Denis McDonough, White House chief of staff, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.
Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 5:37 pm
Even in the era of declining television audiences, President Obama's State of the Union address is still the biggest audience he'll have all year. Historically, seventh-year State of the Union speeches have a short shelf life. Every one of the five lame-duck presidents (that is, presidents constitutionally barred from running again — Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama) has had opposition congresses, making the prospects for passing major parts of the president's agenda slim to none.