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How important is Obama's upcoming State of the Union?

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WASHINGTON--President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Wednesday, at 8 p.m. Chicago time, 9 p.m. eastern. A new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & The Pressasks people how important they view the speech.


From Pew: "The survey finds that 39% of the public thinks that Obama's Jan. 27 State of the Union address will be more important than previous addresses, 45% say it will be about as important, and 9% say it will be less important. Obama's upcoming State of the Union is viewed as more important than former President Bush's last three State of the Union speeches. In January 2002, however, a higher percentage (54%) said Bush's State of the Union would be more important than say that about Obama's address today."


As Barack Obama begins his second year in office, the public's priorities for the president and Congress remain much as they were one year ago. Strengthening the nation's economy and improving the job situation continue to top the list. And, in the wake of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, defending the country from future terrorist attacks also remains a top priority.

At the same time, the public has shifted the emphasis it assigns to two major policy issues: dealing with the nation's energy problem and reducing the budget deficit. About half (49%) say that dealing with the nation's energy problem should be a top priority, down from 60% a year ago. At the same time, there has been a modest rise in the percentage saying that reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, from 53% to 60%.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 6-10 among 1,504 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, finds that 49% rate providing health insurance to the uninsured as a top priority. That is little changed from a year ago and off its high of 61% in January 2001. Notably, there is now a wider partisan gap in opinion about this issue than for any of the 21 issues included in the survey: 75% of Democrats rate providing health insurance to the uninsured as a top priority compared with just 26% of Republicans.

Just 28% say that dealing with global warming should be a top policy priority. While that is largely unchanged from 2009 (30%), it is the lowest measure for any issue tested in the survey. Since 2007, when the item was first included on the priorities list, dealing with global warming has consistently ranked at or near the bottom. About four-in-ten Democrats (43%) rate dealing with global warming as a top priority, compared with 25% of independents and just 11% of Republicans.

The survey finds that 39% of the public thinks that Obama's Jan. 27 State of the Union address will be more important than previous addresses, 45% say it will be about as important, and 9% say it will be less important. Obama's upcoming State of the Union is viewed as more important than former President Bush's last three State of the Union speeches. In January 2002, however, a higher percentage (54%) said Bush's State of the Union would be more important than say that about Obama's address today.

For a direct link to the full report, go to http://people-press.org/report/584/policy-priorities-2010. The survey is for immediate release and is available on our website, http://people-press.org/.

7 Comments

This one statement - 75% of Democrats rate providing health insurance to the uninsured as a top priority compared with just 26% of Republicans - alone put American voters on notice how unimportant Mr. President Barack Obama's speech will be to a selective group.

Republican's could give a rat's ass about health care, except for when it is their love one(s) of course.

I already see the Republican presidential ticket and slogan in 2012. Brown and Palin - they're just like you and me - regular people!

How stupid!


Until Thursday, confrontation with this corporatist Empire was opaque, disguised, and not likely to come to a head soon ---- but then the supreme court’s overreach for the moneyed elitist Empire crossed a ‘bridge too far’, and much like the catalyst of monopoly ‘tea prices’ in Boston Harbor by the British EMPIRE this disguised and occupying Empire in our own land today became an easy target for a Second American Revolution.

The “anger and frustration” will not die down. The crimes of the Empire will not disappear. The storm of populist rage and revolutionary spirits will only grow higher and wider in a general conflagration of the people vs, the Empire, and so, Obama can either let his “arc of history bend” him, or he can get in front of it --- if he is really going to do as he what said dozens of times in one speech and “fight for the people” (against this corporatist Empire).

Here’s the deal. We can give Obama a little test of his bona fides (some might say, of his guts). Since the supreme court has presented us with the accelerated call to arms by allowing the economically and politically oppressive Empire to totally dominate all spheres of our lives with its unlimited bribery of all corrupt politicians (of both the existing corporate Parties/Party), Obama can prove his real metal by announcing, in his ‘State of the Union’ that he is changing his party affiliation to Green Independent, since that party will not allow any candidate to accept the new unlimited corrupting bribery of the corporatist Empire --- and that he expects all honest Senators and Congressmen to do the same if they are to truly represent the people rather than the corporatist Empire.

Obama can essentially call everyone’s bluff (on the angry right and left) and “call-out’ the corporatist Empire’s supreme court enabled money control of our American democracy for the take-over of the country that it is. He can point out to the frustrated average American people viewing on their TV’s (from both the left and right), and to his Congressional audience (of both Republicans and Democrats who are willing to listen) that since there is no legislative or other means to reverse or wipe-out the supreme court’s ‘sell-out’ of our democracy to the corporatist Empire, that he is willing to solve this unsolvable problem ---- along with solving our health care problem, our economic tyranny problem, our imperialist war problems, and all our other common problems that have been created by the cancer of this moneyed elite corporatist Empire upon our country, by voting for democracy against Empire and moving to essentially a new ‘Peoples Party’ in the form of the Green Independent Party, which does not take money from the Empire which oppresses us. [Cheer, cheer, cheer]

Obama can issue a challenge those in Congress who want to “represent the people instead of the corporatist Empire, to meet me in the new ‘Peoples Party’ in November, which the whole country and all honest citizens now will know is the only sign of non-moneyed, non-corrupt, and non-Empire choice --- and that we will use only their contributions and public funding to overturn any who stay behind in the Empire’s lair of the corrupted Republican and Democratic Party!”

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

I think the priorities are upside down. If there is no revenue coming in to pay for the things that are on the President's wish list; what is he going to do, continue borrowing money. The priority needs to be getting people back to work. And I don't mean temporarily, these are real jobs that people can do now. This thing about creating "Green Jobs" is a pipe dream that will take years to see come to past. The President needs to stop threatening and start looking for real solutions, instead of talking to his buddies that have never run a corporation. He needs to talk to the people that have the power to do something instead of giving us lip service.

The environment will take care of itself. I don't understand how we a people think that we can do anything that can truly affect the weather. Think about it, we do not even take up enough space to fill 1/4 of the planet. If anything is affecting the temperature it could be our largest heating source, the sun. I know that many will way that we have to do things to counteract the heat from the sun. Unless you plan to put it out, leave it alone. If everyone will stop and take a look a the things that have happened with the weather in history, they will see that what is happening now is not very much different than what has happened in the past. I think we are just super sensitive to it because of the technology we have today and the immediacy of information that makes it seem as if we are in a crisis.

There is so much more I could say, but i will stop at this time and give someone else a chance.

Have a great week.

LUCKY9758

Here's what Obama should focus on --- not health care, nor the economy, nor the wars, nor the hundred other distractive symptomatic 'identity issues' that are ALL caused by the exact same big hulking and seminal tumor of cancer.

It begins with an 'E', but its not Economy ---- it's EMPIRE.

In his "State of the (democratic) Union' he should forcefully point out that today we're almost totally controlled by a previously well hidden corporatist EMPIRE -- now made more visible by the supreme court's treason of literally handing over our country to the Empire overtly.

While this problem can not be solved by any quick legislative or other means, that he will actually 'lead' and solve this (and all our other problems caused by Empire) and he will do it by moving to the Green (independent) Party (which does not accept corrupting corporate Empire money), and then Obama should challenge all those he is addressing in Congress, who have the guts to represent us (and the U.S.) to follow him and shun the hopelessly corrupted and 'bought' Dem/Rep single slimy corporate Empire's two-faced phony party.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

I am praying for his second term, he is brilliant above what the average man can percieve, LONG LIVE OBAMA!! PHAMBILI!!!

The true way to gauge whether his speech bears any importance to people is to watch the ratings. If only 25% of Americans watch all or a substantial part of his address, then one can reasonably assume that it is only important to 25% of Americans. Personally, I will watch and pray to be surprised. I don't think I will be. He doesn't have any credibility left with me. A slickster is still a slickster. Carefully worded rhetoric can't change that.

PEW’s survey report findings on Americans’ opinions on Top Priorities for 2010 shows Social Security ranked as the 4th highest priority. This echoes findings from a recent NASI (National Academy of Social Insurance) survey report on the value that Americans place on Social Security benefits for themselves and the country.

The NASI survey found that 90% of Americans want Congress to act within the next 2 years to preserve Social Security. 88% of Americans say Social Security is more important than ever as a result of today's economy, and 75% say it is critical to preserve Social Security even if it means that working Americans have to pay higher taxes to do so.

For additional context on how Social Security is a top public priority, here’s a link to the NASI report: http://www.nasi.org/research/2009/economic-crisis-fuels-support-social-security

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 25, 2010 8:17 AM.

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