President Obama's State of the Union Address: What the Media Is Saying

President Obama State of the Union - H 2012
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President Obama State of the Union - H 2012

The Commander in Chief highlighted foreign policy, partisan in-fighting, the economy and the environment during his national address Tuesday night.

President Barack Obama delivered his fourth State of the Union address Tuesday night, opening with the end of the war in Iraq and the killing of Osama bin Laden, and touched on the economy, tax reform, the American dream (which he called "the defining issue of our time") and Congress' inability to cross party lines and work together.  

The New York Times' political reporters did a live analysis of the President's speech. "For more than an hour, President Obama laid out a litany of new policies, old themes and populist ideals that will form the core of his final policy push and his campaign," Tweeted Jonathan Weisman. "There were no "you lie" moments, no bad behavior. But President Obama and the Republicans basically looked past each other on taxes, and Republicans wanted more on the budget deficit, which barely got a notice." 

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While Times reporter David Leonhardt wrote of the Republican response from Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, "Republicans seem to have decided, separately or collectively, to praise President Obama's decision to authorize the mission that killed Osama bin Laden -- before criticizing Mr. Obama on nearly everything else."

CNN led with the headline "Obama challenges Congress on sticky issues," pointing out that this could be the President's final State of the Union address and also saying that the speech "drew on themes from the Kansas speech he delivered in early December that focused on restoring equal opportunity for all, rather than an economy where the wealthy and reckless such as irresponsible Wall Street investors get ahead."

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MSNBC chose to highlight Obama's environmental stance, saying,"President Obama refused to back off his support for clean energy initiatives in his State of the Union address, pushing back against some of Republicans' fiercest policy criticisms of his administration."

"None of the proposals constitutes a single bold stroke to revive the economy, but the heart of Obama’s message — one he has underscored in appearances around the country in recent months — was that America’s wealthiest citizens must do more to cement the economic recovery and pull the country from its dire fiscal condition," wrote the Washington Post.

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"What a significant beginning: Iraq, Bin Laden, the troops, and why they are better than the squablling in DC. This is a neat touch," tweeted CBS Evening News correspondent Jeff Greenfield, before calling out Obama on his "stay in school" proposal, saying, "That no-dropping out idea is lame and gimmicky."


"Obviously the world the president describes always sounds different from the world his would-be challengers describe. But I'm not sure the disparity has ever been quite so stark. Obama is all morning in america. Romney et al make it sound like we're in the middle of a depression," observed The New Republic's Noam Scheiber. 

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Yahoo!'s Chris Suellentrop asked mid-way through the speech on ABC News' live blog, "Will Obama get better at speeches when the campaign season starts? Is he like Newt Gingrich, better when he has a cheering crowd?"