It’s difficult to see how President Obama’s State of the Union (SOTU) address to be delivered to Congress and the nation Tuesday night will be anything more than a politically-charged, re-election speech that can only add to a climate of what the White House calls “a regrettable level of hyper-partisanship.”
Of course, each January, the president addresses the country, reporting on the state of our nation, often laying out a vision and plan for the year ahead.
But as Politico.com reports, the 2012 State of the Union address is likely to reveal how this president, more than any other, is making the line between governing and politicking virtually indistinguishable.
“It is hardly a shock to say that the State of the Union address — which has drawn audiences of 43 million to 52 million viewers in the Obama years, crushing any of the recent GOP candidate debates — will be a political affair. Every State of the Union address of modern times has been, in its own way, thoroughly political.
But Obama will appear on Capitol Hill as a president who is virtually wiping out the space, never wide to begin with, between politicking and governing in the West Wing as Election Day nears. . . . nearly every aspect of daily life in his West Wing is influenced by a campaign mentality. . . .”
There are reports that the president’s political advisors, those with his re-election campaign, are working on the speech. That would be an unusual move, but not surprising. The speech is still in draft form, but already the president is planning to hit the road immediately after the address to visit five states that are critical in the election.
Let’s see who shows up on Capitol Hill Tuesday night – the Commander-in-Chief, or the Campaigner-in-Chief.