State Of The Union: What's The North Carolina Impact?
President Obama delivered his 2015 State of the Union address Tuesday night. This was the President’s first speech in front of a Republican controlled Congress.
The President talked about several issues facing North Carolinians, including the Affordable Care Act, tax breaks for middle class families, and the economy.
“If there is a fast track arrangement being made on trade, the people of North Carolina will have to watch the details of that very carefully,” says David Coates, Wake Forest University Professor of Politics and International Affairs. “That’s because trade agreements in the past have sounded rather good, but they’ve often had adverse effects on employment in some core North Carolina industries and they may happen again.”
Coates says President Obama’s stance on U.S. foreign policy is just as important as his domestic initiatives.
“The other thing that has happened over the past 6 months is we have moved back into a third war in the Middle East now against ISIS. We should all be listening very hard to see what he has to say about how that war will be developed and particularly, how it will be ended,” says Coates. “We need to make sure that he talks honestly about this because I’m sure there is not a popular majority in the United States for a return to a third Middle Eastern war.”
Coates says Democrats didn’t come out in large numbers to vote during the midterm election, and those losses played a role in how the President used the state of the union address for more than just announcing new policies.
“So the question is what are we doing here, what is this about? It’s very unlikely to be about setting a legislative agenda that is then carried through. It is much about something else - reframing the public conversation about taxes and middle class wages in ways that he thinks will help Democrats in 2016. I think there is much more electioneering and political theater going on this time than is normal in state of the union addresses.”
President Obama just wrapped up his sixth full year in office. According to a recent Gallup poll, his job approval averaged just under 43 percent for the year--- that’s the lowest annual average rating to date.
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