By Atiba Madyun
Did you see the President get “jiggy” with Republicans last night? If you missed it, you missed a speech blended in off the cuff entertainment, as the President highlighted his Administration’s agenda.
Republicans sat when the President said the “The State of the Union is strong” instead of standing with the Democratic minority as is the customary tradition. At one point, Republicans sat silent as the President looked in their direction saying with a smile and a wink, “this is good news people.”
When he said “I have no more campaigns to run,” Republicans clapped. He responded on cue and off script, “I know because I won them both.” (Click to view). Democrats erupted with cheering so loud, it seemed they were in the majority.
Calm and loose as quarterback Russell Wilson leading his team last Sunday to a late game winning touchdown, Obama with swagger and confidence laid out an agenda for “middle class economics.”
He jabbed at Republicans on the minimum wage debate “to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”
The President talked about tax relief for the middle class, jobs for veterans, affordable child care for working parents, equal pay for women, paid sick leave and two years of free college tuition to those who work get good grades and work hard.
His swagger gave the impression that he is not a lame duck and will not go silently into the night. He ended his speech with a unifying message “My fellow Americans, we too are a strong, tight-knit family. We, too, have made it through some hard times. Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America.”
The President assured us that he is working to turn the page and complete the job he started six years ago. We can sit on the sideline and wait two years for another President to take office. Or we can come together, regardless of political party and work with the President and pressure Congress on both sides to work together. Which will you be?
View the President’s #SOTU speech here.
Read the President’s #SOTU speech here.
Atiba Madyun is President of The Madyun Group (TMG) a Public Affairs firm based in Washington, DC.