Following President Obama’s State of the Union address, POLITICO asked its panel to assess the President’s performance:

President Obama in his State of the Union address outlined an agenda to grow the American economy and called on Americans to heed the message from the shootings in Tucson that they need to work together. The president also signaled a more aggressive approach to restraining government spending by vowing to veto all bills containing earmarks — specific projects funded at the request of individual lawmakers – and proposed a freeze in discretionary government spending for five years, with an eye toward reducing the massive federal deficit.

How did the president do? What did you like or dislike in the speech?
My response follows:
I’m a fan of State of the Union (SOTU) addresses. In my view, President Obama did well. He won by striking a centrist chord while maintaining an explicit commitment to core Democratic values. President Obama pledged to protect clean water, clean air, consumers, and vulnerable Americans. The President told Republicans that he will work with them on issues that benefit middle class Americans while asking for sacrifice by wealthier Americans and large corporations.
President Obama was thin on exactly where the New Frontier lay. FDR had rural electrification of the Tennessee Valley. Eisenhower developed the interstate highway system and national defense student loan program. JFK launched NASA and the Moon landing program. Rural access to Facebook, green technology industries and rescuing social security don’t offer a great sense of national urgency as the aforementioned programs did in their day.
President Obama used the SOTU to draw the political battle lines in the coming year. He outlined an agenda that could be a winning one for him and our nation.
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