Barack H. Obama is going to get one more chance as president of the United States to lay out his vision of the state of our Union.
On Jan. 12, he’ll take the podium in front of a joint session of Congress and tell us how he thinks we’re doing, where we’ve been, where we’re headed and likely will propose a laundry list of legislative solutions to the nagging problems that never seem to get cured.
This is it, Mr. President. My advice to you, though, is this: Don’t expect to change any minds or sway anyone’s view of the job you’ve done.
Republicans will continue to say the president has all but destroyed American greatness — single-handedly. Democrats will hail the achievements and the rescuing of the nation from a financial collapse.
I happen to belong to the latter category of Americans. Yeah, it’s a shock, I know.
This final State of the Union speech by President Obama will produce the usual applause dominated by the Democrats in the chamber. Republicans will sit on their hands … for the most part while their Democratic “friends” cheer and holler.
While there’s no denying that the world is in difficult straits right now in this fight against international terrorism, there also can be no denying that the American ship of state has corrected its course in the seven years since Barack Obama took the presidential oath of office.
The economy is in far better shape than before. Our annual budget deficit has shrunk by two-thirds. Energy production is up; energy imports are down. Housing has rebounded. Banks are lending money. More people are working today than they were in 2009. Millions of Americans have health insurance now who didn’t have it before.
And oh yes, we’ve been kept safe from terrorists. There’s that, too.
That’s not the view of those who oppose the president.
But what the heck? It goes with the territory.
House Speaker Paul Ryan was correct in his letter inviting the president to speak. They have a duty to find solutions together, he said. Yes, Mr. Speaker, you do.
It’s time to get busy.
Meanwhile, the president will get one more shot at telling the country he leads what many of us out here already know.
The state of our Union truly is strong. We’ve got work to do, but our footing is a lot firmer than it was when the president took office.