The President’s speech was stronger than I expected.
He avoided the typical State of the Union laundry list, and focused primarily on broad themes and big issues. He made important calls for spending restraint, entitlement reform, school choice, comprehensive immigration reform, and offered a specific proposal to improve our tax codes treatment of healthcare insurance.
Unlike other tedious State of the Unions, he didn’t waste time proposing federal programs to reduce steroid use or curb gang violence, which, while they sound nice, are not federal issues. Instead he set a broad domestic policy agenda (that was entirely economic — no social issues discussed at all) and focused on building support for the War on Terror and his foreign policy goals. That’s entirely appropriate for a President.
He managed to strike a bipartisan, unconfrontational tone, but that also didn’t seem like he was cowed by the new Congress or his sagging poll numbers. Overall, a solid showing for the President.