WHITE HOUSE STARTS OFFERING SOTU HINTS…. President Obama recorded a video message for Organizing for America, released yesterday afternoon, outlining some of the general themes we’ll hear in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. It all sounded pretty encouraging, but the New York Times report on what to expect included a little scoop that stood out.
Mr. Obama is unlikely, they said, to embrace the recommendations of a bipartisan majority on the debt-reduction commission he created, which proposed slashing projected annual deficits through 2020 with deep cuts in domestic and military spending, changes to Social Security and Medicare, and an overhaul of the individual and corporate tax codes to simplify them and to raise additional revenues.
In general, the theme of deficit reduction will be less prominent in the speech as Mr. Obama emphasizes spending “investments” and “responsible” budget cutting at a time when Republicans have proposed spending cuts, unspecified, of 20 percent or more.
Here’s hoping that’s true. Obama referenced deficit reduction in his OFA video — he mentioned tackling the issue in “a responsible way” — but the less said of this in the State of the Union, the better. And if the Simpson/Bowles plan is ignored altogether, especially its intentions towards Social Security, that’d be heartening, too.
There was also a thematic line the president used that we may be hearing more of. “Our job is to make sure the American dream is attainable to everyone who’s willing to work for it, everyone who’s willing to strive for it,” Obama said. “It’s going to take a lot of work — these are big challenges that are in front of us — but we’re up to it, as long as we come together as a people, Democrats, Republicans, independents. As long as we focus on what binds us together as a people, as long as we’re willing to find common ground, even as we’re having some very vigorous debates. That’s what built this country, that’s what we’re all about, and that’s what it’s going to take to win the future.”
At the end of the clip, the on-screen graphic drove the line home: “Win the future.”
Expect to hear that line again.