Talking about politics is a touchy thing (and we don’t try to hide that we’re pretty liberal here at Intent – but we do promote listening to contrary opinions with an open ear and encourage healthy, respectful debate!). However, the annual State of the Union address isn’t really about which side of the aisle you vote for – it’s about civic responsibility to be informed about the state of affairs of the country.
Last night the President covered several important topics from raging minimum wage, increasing America’s clean energy initiatives, creating greater access to higher education and ending the war in Afghanistan. He repeatedly called out Congress’ tendency to gridlock in debate rather than create legislation to help Americans move out of a recession and lead the way in the 21st century. He also re-iterated on several fronts, including minimum wage and infrastructure policy – that he will take whatever action he can without legislation to promote American progress, circumventing the roadblocks often created by tension in the House of Representatives.
The President’s most powerful moment however came at the end of the address when he called out Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg who was severely injured during his 10th deployment to Afghanistan. After being hit by a bomb while on duty, Cory was left unable to speak and barely move. After dozens of surgeries, hours of grueling physical therapy today, Cory has relearned to talk, stand and walk. He still has trouble with his left side but he and his father were both present for the State of the Union address. His presence garnered an extended applause and standing ovation from the entire assembly. “Cory reminds us what is best about America,” the President said.
If you missed the State of the Union, we’ve compiled some of President Obama’s most compelling quotes from last night:
On Congress’s responsibility to the American public: “If our business is shutting down the Government or ruining the good faith and credit in America then we are not doing right by the American people.”
On creating a bi-partisan Federal budget: ‘The budget compromise should leave us freer to focus on creating new jobs, not creating new crisis.”
On American wages: “But Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.”
On American troops and military involvement abroad: “I will not mire our sons and daughters in open ended war entanglements. We must fight battles that need to be fought, but not those that terrorists prefer for us. America must move off it’s permanent war footing.”
Closing statement: “If we work together, if we summon what is best in us, with our feet planted firmly in today but our eyes cast towards tomorrow, I know it is within our reach.”
To see these quotes in context and to hear the President’s point by point plans for energy initiatives, healthcare progress and the path to comprehensive immigration reform you can watch the full State of the Union Address below:
*Picture credit to WhiteHouse.Gov