Obama will use State of the Union to kick-off re-election campaign

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Barack Obama, during the 2010 State Of The Uni...Image by BlatantWorld.com via Flickr

In a few hours time, Barack Obama will deliver his third State of the Union address, and at the same time kick-off his bid to be re-elected next year. The theme of the speech will be “winning the future”, showing a clear determination to move forward despite a split congress. CNN is reporting that he will also “lay out a plan to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world.” However he faces a sluggish economy, with 9.4% of Americans out of work, and 43% of these for 6 months or longer. The President will also use the speech to defend his healthcare reforms once again, and address the war in Afghanistan.

In an attempt to show they are moving beyond the angry rhetoric that has so scarred American politics, some members of the joint session of congress will cross the isle, and not sit purely on partisan lines. Notably, the entire Arizona congressional delegation will all sit together, and leave an empty seat for Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who is still  in hospital recovering from an assassination attempt.

However, it is not all unity and light going into this key address. The GOP appears to be more split that ever, and will issue two responses to the President’s major address. The official Republican response will come from Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who is the new chairman of the House Budget Committee. Tea Party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota will though provide her own response via the Tea Party Express website.

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 27:  U.S. President Barac...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

One year out from the next Presidential election, President Obama needs to start reminding people why they were so inspired by him in the first place. He needs to regain trust by proving he can reform, and improve peoples lives, without continuing to increase the countries already vast deficit. Perhaps the moderating influence of a split congress will help, moving him away from the more defiantely left-wing (particularly for America,) policies that have unnerved some of the independents who supported him in 2008.

The President is kicking off his campaign on a surer footing than he would a few months ago though. His deeply impressive legislative victories in the so-called ‘lame duck’ congressional session, such as repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ and passing the 9/11 First Responders package, showed clearly he is a man that can get business done. His moving speech at the Tuscon Memorial service also touched many people.

One thing is for certain, there is still nobody that can deliver a set piece speech quite like President Obama can. Time to let Obama be Obama.

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