President Obama’s 5th SOTU

On 13 February, 2013, in Blog, Speech of the Week, US Election, by Ingenia

President Obama’s 5th SOTU represented a continued zoomed-in format of the 2nd inaugural, from just three weeks ago. The president has begun his influence final countdown. Only 15 months to get done his agenda: with an unprecedented momentum; a weak opposition in Congress was deprived of leadership and a familiar attitude.


As George Lakoff wrote “Politics is Moral. Political speech sets action“. The president has used the force of the speeches to draw on the horizon a second ambitious term. At the same time reaffirming his commitments to the social coalition that gave him the victory last November, with an eye toward the legacy he wants to leave. So he did with Newtown speech, with the 2nd Inaugural and also with last night’ speech.




A speech that was built with the narrative:


  • of a new “America” -more moral, socially fair and less white and wealthy- with more Families, Middle class, Women and Minorities protection;
  • on the Economy (recovery and People’s daily life perception of people; a fairer tax code and a decent minimum wage; reducing the budget and the deficit (bigger vs. smarter government);
  • on Social (extra care to Pre-school and University, rehabilitation of infrastructures,…) and Civil Rights (no gender discrimination in any area of life);
  • on Climate Change (message directed to the core of environmental groups, despite the difficulty of its realization);
  • on the vital moment of the Immigration Reform, in which the Latino community is the key player (with the resulting Politics involved);
  • on Foreign Affairs: North Korea, Iran, Syria and Israel or the announcement of a free trade agreement with the EU;
  • on the Electoral reform: to end the failures of the voting, personalized on Mrs. Victor Desiline, an Haitian 102-year-old woman who had to wait three hours in line to vote in Florida;
  • and on the Children’s Gun safety: the most emotional moment of the night (minute 51:50) The “they deserve to vote” line.


This speech sets a finished and a good transition between the “Wonder BoyJon Favreu -who marches to Hollywood- and his replacement, Cody Keenan who will be the person who will shape the president’s voice from now on.



The Obama team already operates the road map with the frame of the legacy we want to leave to history.


This is how the twitt-universi lived it:

via @josepmrochera


While the president and vice president invited a 20 relatives of gun violence victims to follow the speech in situ, a congressman from Texas invited the NRA & hate icon Ted Nugent), meanwhile Secretary of Energy Chu stood in guard in the Oval Office, in case of some catastrophe happened, ensuring the institutional continuity of the White House.


Another person who was neither in the House floor was Senator Marco Rubio, who was closed with his team analyzing and designing the public Republican response to the president’s speech, which would take place a few minutes after he just had finished it.


One of TIME’ person of the moment for his role as a bridge partner between Democrats and Republicans to pass immigration reform; a likely 2016 presidential candidate figure and a reputation cultivated key role player:




A “new” honest -but also too nervous, fragile and still to improve- face but with an old attitude, without any new idea or message and over again opposition motto. This operation put Republicans far from the center and far to building a serious alternative to the social coalition of the president.


After the response the only thing left is the story:



Maybe it’s a good idea, to postpone the public response to avoid the anguish, the hurry and the feeling of the need to respond immediately. Maybe it’s time to rethink it: allowing more time to prepare and tune the messages, the stage and the training. The opposition can answer the next day: the result would be much better and with more quality.


And finally the Tea Party response from Senator Rand Paul, at the time of the lowest popularity of the movement and now faced with the all-powerful guardian of essences Karl Rove:



The void left by his Father -Ron Paul- after leaving the political scene, is colossal. His were one of the few voices that gave height and depth to the ideological debates.



Recommended articles:

- “Speeches ar not just words“, George Lakoff, via Washignton Post;

- “Obama hace su lista de la compra con un final emotivo“, from Jordi Pérez-Colomé, via Obamaworld (in Spanish).




@aleixcuberes is an @ingenia_pro consultant

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