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Obama’s State of the Union will reflect state of the election


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Washington Times:

Anyone wondering whether President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday will focus more on policy or the politics of his re-election should consider the trip he has planned immediately afterward: visits to five battleground states in three days.

About 12 hours after delivering his speech to Congress at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Mr. Obama will depart on Air Force One for Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan — all key states he hopes to win in November. His aides say the president will use the swing states to promote policies to help the middle class, but the campaign strategy is obvious.

“The president is campaigning for re-election and it’s hard to say that traveling to important electoral states is otherwise,” said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean.

In a video preview of his State of the Union speech emailed to 10 million supporters Saturday, Mr. Obama said he would call for “a return to American values of fairness for all and responsibility from all.”

“We can go in two directions,” the president said. “One is towards less opportunity and less fairness. Or we can fight for where I think we need to go: building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few.”

Mr. Obama is expected to call in his speech for raising taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations to pay for what he says is needed spending on infrastructure, education and other programs.

“If that’s what the president is going to talk about Tuesday night, I think it’s pathetic,” House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“It sounds to me like the same old policies that we’ve seen: more spending, higher taxes, more regulation — the same policies that haven’t helped our economy; they’ve made it worse.”

Whether Mr. Obama truly expects to work with a divided Congress in an election year is open to debate, especially given Mr. Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” campaign in recent months that has emphasized taking executive actions to work around Congress.snip
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