Tonight, Barack Obama will appear before the House of Representatives and deliver his fifth State of the Union Address. A lot of attention is being paid to this being an opportunity for Obama to shift narratives and double down on his administration’s efforts. It’s hot air. State of the Union addresses rarely do more than give pundits and talking heads sound bites to respond to.
With that said, what can you expect Obama to address in his State of the Union?
With all of the talk of income inequality and economic disparity, its safe to assume that Obama will touch on the subject. The past year has seen strong pushes to extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and increase the minimum wage. These policies have seen strong opposition from Republicans.
One of the administration’s flagship policies was the Affordable Care Act. Seeing as the rollout was, at best, troubled, and complaints were many about the website being broke and potential applicants being unable to complete registration, it’s likely Obama will revisit the subject. This time, he’ll likely being encouraging the jaded to come back and try again.
2014 may be the year that we see some movement on immigration reform. The House GOP is expressing that it may finally be prepared to play ball with the administration.
Foreign conflicts are always a topic of discussion during the State of the Union. Obama is likely to point out that his administration will have ended two wars at the close of this year. He may also note the progress his administration has made with Iran to keep it from developing nuclear weapons. He may even touch on the more complicated subject of the Syrian civil war.
Security & Surveillance
Edward Snowden. This past year has brought unprecedented revelations regarding security and spying both domestically and abroad. Obama is likely to discuss efforts his administration will or has made to reign in the NSA.
What would you like to hear the administration discuss? Let us know on Twitter.
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.