The President of the United States, Barack Obama, is always a relaxed, comfortable and effective speaker; last night’s State of the Union Address was no exception.
Tangible and incontrovertible was the precedent-setting seating arrangement, wherein the barricades to productivity were for a time lifted. As Democrats sat with Republicans, as liberals shared armrests with conservatives, none could fail to note the new hope established.
The President entered and, moving through the welcoming crowd, he turned right and left, greeting those there assembled on a one-to-one basis, recalling pending matters, and putting the guests at ease in discussing things important to each of them.
In the speech, he recalled the shootings in Tucson, Arizona, and reminded those present that we are all a part of an American family. We are, he said, a “part of something greater,” and he expressed hope for a new era of cooperation. He asked for America to continue to be the “light of the world.”
If there was a main unifying thrust to the President's words on domestic issues, it was a call for education and an emphasis on technology. He said we must devote ourselves to an investment in the future; an investment in the students of science and mathematics; a dedication to clean energy, and ever advancing technology, and to the further development of as yet undiscovered technology, including advancement in the technologies that allow people to share knowledge. In that regard, he said a fireman at a fire site should be able to view the internal structures of the burning facility on a hand-held device.
He called for 100,000 new teachers and said we should reward innovation. He said the student who excels at a science fair should be as praised as is the student on the sports field. He called for a familial investment in learning, wherein parents applaud their studious, hard-working, and dedicated children. In the area of technology, he called for one million electronic vehicles to be on our roadways by 2015.