The State of the Union address is about more than just the speech, the Wall Street Journal reports.
For a sitting president, it’s essentially a fresh start. And, more than any time in his presidency, Mr. Obama needs one of those. The year 2013 was a mostly empty year, with little to no movement on the White House’s legislative agenda (The president has rushed in recent weeks to make good on promises from last year’s State of the Union address). The year was capped by a botched rollout of Mr. Obama’s signature health care law, a self-inflicted wound that handed Republicans a political cudgel. And he’s got just three years left.
In that sense, the White House hopes the speech, which will draw the largest audience Mr. Obama is likely to command all year, will reboot what has been a lethargic and relatively unproductive start to a second term. How Mr. Obama’s aides lay the groundwork for his policy announcements, and the White House’s subsequent follow-through, are critical.