State of the Union Summary


Drake Mattis, Sports Editor

On January 12th, 2016, President Obama held his eighth and final State of the Union Address, and it was just about what we had all expected. His main points that he spoke about included how to change the U.S. economy and our politics as a whole, health care, how to find a cure for cancer, climate change, and threats against the U.S.

Health care, something that Republicans and Democrats will likely never agree on, was a big component of Obama’s speech and led to an intriguing and somewhat surprising topic that he brought up – finding a cure for cancer. He briefly mentioned a national initiative where Vice President Biden would be at the helm. I think it will be interesting to see how much progress is actually made with this initiative, as it sounded that Obama was actually announcing a real, legitimate executive action with the topic of curing cancer.

Climate change is a thing, whether you want to believe it or not, And Obama was not reluctant to speak about how he felt, though this topic was one of the more brief subjects. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that 2015 was the warmest year on record, surpassing 2014 as the previous record holder. Global warming is clearly an issue, and the United Nations has put climate change near the top of their list for things that need to be accomplished for the greater good of the world.

Threats against the U.S. was the most anticipated topic of the night, and it came in the latter half of his speech. Obama spoke about how the U.S. is “no doubt” the most powerful country in the world, something that I was glad to hear come from his mouth. He also, finally, said that he thinks Congress needs to vote on using force against ISIL, as they are currently the greatest threat to the United States.

The final subject brought up by Obama was changing our politics and bridging the gap between Republicans and Democrats, specifically in Congress. He admitted that he has probably not done enough to help that situation, but for this final year he has in office he plans to make that one of his top priorities. Hey, at least he’s being honest. Since 2008 (the year Obama was elected), Congress has been extremely unproductive, largely in part of the rift between the parties. Without some agreement in Congress, and right now there is little, nothing can get done. This is one change that I think is necessary to make Obama’s final year in office something that will be looked at as positive in the future, and would make his legacy one that is not looked at as negative.

This State of the Union was also the first of Paul Ryan’s as Speaker of the House. He was elected to the position in October after taking over for John Boehner. Ryan’s poker face was clearly rehearsed, but he did a good job of looking bored and unenthused, which probably made the Republican attendees proud. Unfortunately, this is basically the Speaker’s job at the State of the Union, to look disinterested.

Overall, I think this was one of Obama’s better State of the Union Addresses, he sounded upbeat and he successfully made it sound like the state of the union is in very good shape and the United States of America is doing great. God Bless America.