He spoke about peace. He spoke about the middle class. He spoke about health care. And he also came out strong about the environment. Could we be looking at a major shift in President Obama’s second term?
He spoke about putting the nation’s interests before party and reasonable compromise – although I doubt he expected to see much of that in the days to come. (He got a lot of bi-partisan applause when he talked about cutting tax loopholes – but the devil is always in those pesky details.)
And he spoke a lot more about deficit reduction than he ought to have. (But we talk about that in “State of the Union – Why the hell are we still talking about this?“.) But at least he also got in a good dig about not governing from one manufactured crisis to another. And he did say, “Deficit reduction alone is NOT an economic plan.”
But he’s also not sitting there and waiting for Congress to start singing Kumbaya. He says he’s willing to take executive action to make this stuff happen.
…..More state of the Union coverage:
- SOTU Reactions (plus Drinking Game!)
- Obama’s full speach (text + video)
- Rubio’s GOP response (text + video)
- Rand Paul’s Tea Party tap dance (text + video)
Here’s what President Obama had to say on the environmental side of the State of the Union tonight – and it’s a heck of a lot!
Finally, he comes out strong on climate change!
- But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.
- The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.