I generally enjoy watching the State of the Union Address. Yes, I know it's always long, and yes, it doesn't mean a whole lot. But it does put a perspective on the politics of the day, and has a rare sense of almost celebratory grandeur for our system. But tonight is one of the few times when I'm actually looking to it.
I just have a sense that Barack Obama is going to be aggressive, far more so than he's ever been for this speech. First, he's not running again, so he doesn't have to be concerned about re-election. Second, there's not another mid-term election while he's in office, so he doesn't have to try and protect his foundation. Third, it's his last big opportunity before a national audience to frame his legacy. And finally, I think he wants to set the ground rules for the coming presidential election. Position what's most important and why, for the Democrats to run on, and make it as difficult for Republicans -- and also make very, very, very, very clear that there are serious issues to be dealt with and the job is for very, very, very serious people. Not bombastic TV game show real estate moguls, or far on the edge demagogues, or anyone who won't make the true effort to be inclusive to all Americans, or those who don't understand the actual realities of the world outside the U.S. borders.
We'll see. But I've got my popcorn and cheese dip ready...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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