Beltway Insider: Obama Delivers State of the Union; Rubio Handles GOP Rebuttal; Brennan, Hagel Confirmations Stalled

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President Barack Obama delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term, this week, directly calling congress into bi-partisan support of his agenda to move forward much needed reforms.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, dropped two percentage points, to 50% of those polled approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President again rose slightly, one percentage point to 44%.

Approximately 22 million viewers tuned in to hear the president present what he sees as a clear picture of the current state of America and the democratic agenda. The numbers are considerably lower than the 52 million who tuned in to hear him deliver his first state of the union address in 2009.

Obama began by quoting John F. Kennedy, invoking the name of a revered party leader has become an earmark of his national addresses, and in the first five minutes touched on major issues indicating the housing market is healing, the stock market rebounding, and we are effectively  removing the “rubble of crisis.”

The Domestic Agenda

Ticking his way through the domestic agenda, President Obama clearly had a grasp on the reality of the millions of Americans not swept up into the cheering section and understood the importance of ending Violence Against Women, which is a plague and according to the CDC at epidemic levels, calling on congress to “get it done” and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and eliminate Workplace Discrimination and raise the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour.

Obama’s presentation style, a laid back warm and friendly approach was sharply contrasted during his admonishment to congress that all victims “deserve a vote” and to pass common sense gun control reform.

Unemployment, Jobs and Job Creation

With unemployment numbers stubbornly stuck barely below the 8% mark, at 7.9%, Obama’s State of the union was light on concrete job creation. Without a quick remedy or instant prescription for fixing the unemployment situation the long term stimulus packages he did present are the best option the American people have at his moment.

Obama reached across the aisle multiple times during the sixty minute speech even bringing his presidential rival, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney into his agenda to present to congress and the people that even when party lines divide there are certain issues that unite and are necessary to move the economy forward.  

The Grapes of Wrath Generation

Obama's Fix It First plan reminiscent of the Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) plan to put people back to work after the Great Depression of the 1930’s is the first time the Obama Administration has come close to categorizing the worst economic recession since the great depression for what it is.

His meritorious philosophy is engrained in most Americans and by far the single most unifier between the two parties. Unfortunately, many employers, and those who present opportunity which can lead to advancement do not subscribe to a meritorious belief system and individuals who are industrious and conscientious can find themselves cut without a single opportunity for no other reason that hard work and diligent effort.

Living in a Grapes of Wrath generation , he was clear, and we the people need to be also, there are three top issues that must be met now, and we the people have the ability to ensure through our votes that our voices are heard, the agenda must be jobs and  obviously innovated job creation and every issue that walks with jobs and job creation, minimum wage, Pay Check Fairness, zero discrimination in hiring, and before Newtown gun control was an tiered issue, buried like its victims, now, a common sense gun control reform package has to be high on the agenda, one that does more than simple background checks and studies into the cause of violence and thirdly, ensuring both the elderly, the generation of yesterday and children, the generation of tomorrow,  are cared for through programs that guarantee and make certain their needs, food, housing, education and social security and Medicare, are met.

Rubio Delivers GOP Rebuttal

Marco Rubio, the junior GOP senator from Florida who stepped into the spotlight during the 2012 Republican National Convention, delivered the GOP Rebuttal to the State of the Union.

The State of the Union rebuttal is the opposing party’s opportunity to expose weaknesses in the current president’s plan presented in the State of the Union.

Rubio has a Cinderella story that Americans love, the son of immigrants his parents worked their way to the middle class, taking on two and three jobs to change their lives and the lives of their children.

Rubio made it clear that both parties have a different approach to government and governing and while the democrats want more government involvement the republicans want less. 

Rubio is rumored to be considering a 2016 Presidential run and seems to be a natural at delivering his story. He speaks personally and projects honesty.

Brennan, Hagel Confirmation Hearing Stalled

Confirmations for both John Brennan, Obama’s nominee for CIA Director, and former Senator Chuck Hagel, the Defense Secretary Nominee have been placed in a holding pattern as the confirmation hearings have stalled.

Senators are delaying confirmation of either man to their respective posts until after the weekend and possibly longer.

The revelation of Drone Missile strikes and the killing of innocent civilians became a sticking point in the Brennan hearings.  It doesn’t appear that Drones will derail Mr. Brennan’s confirmation.

The confirmation of former Senator Chuck Hagel, the Defense Secretary Nominee, has been blocked by the GOP over Benghazi and the recent terror attack on the US Consulate that resulted in the deaths of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens. 

For more information on President Obama: www.whitehouse.gov 

For more information on President Obama: http://www.barackobama.com/

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