Obama appeals to the GOP in SOTU. Will they reciprocate?

Look, the President is correct when he says that he campaigned to end the war in Iraq, and all U.S.combat troops will be out of major Iraqi cities by the end of this June.  But in fact, that had nothing to do with him.


The Status of Forces Agreement (or SOFA) which was signed by the U.S. and Iraq in late 2008, also says that all U.S. troops be out of Iraq by the end of next year (though with lots of wiggle room, since the U.S. has been known to stick around in foreign lands for awhile).  So, yes, a campaign pledge that is on course right now.


Now, the President did announce last year that he will send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan (which is still ongoing) to deal with Al Qaeda, who of course are considered to be doing more damage in Pakistan.  But whatever.  Pretty big deal last year.  Not a whole lot spoken about it.


Domestically, there was lots of talk about tax cuts, although as Obama joked, he couldn't move the Republican side of the aisle to even feign a cheer about that most beloved of policy items for conservatives.  He also spoke up for supporting nuclear power plants and offshore drilling.


But despite that, he can't win any conservative love.  Check out Jonah Goldberg in today's New York Post:


There was no "pivot to the center," no serious accounting for the Massachusetts miracle or his misfortunes. Instead, there was an innumerate, inaccurate and distinctly unpresidential whine -- blaming George W. Bush for nearly all of his problems (leaving out, among other things, that the Democrats have been controlling Congress and crafting budgets since 2006).


However, later in his column, it's hard to argue with this point:


He decried the politicians who are in "permanent campaign" mode -- the same week he brought into the White House his campaign manager.


The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne seems to capture the dilemma the President faces himself in:


Barack Obama had once hoped to be a conciliatory president who understood his philosophical adversaries. He is still that man, and much of his speech described ideas, especially in education and energy, that could well win support across ideological lines.


But it was clear that the Obama who addressed the nation on Wednesday also understood that he confronts a Republican Party that sees unflinching opposition as blazing a path to victory. And he offered himself as a president ready to do battle. "We don't quit," he said. "I don't quit."


The first day of the rest of his term in office begins today in Tampa.  We look forward to being out amongst the local public to hear what they have to say about the President, pro and con at UT.






In an hour plus long speech like President Obama's State of the Union, there are all types of segments can pick out and discuss.

(Our Blaire Yancy chose some favorite selections for you to look at if you missed the speech).

There are a thousand takes one can read and absorb on the blogosphere this morning, as well as on morning television and radio.

So, what can I add to all the cacophony? Well, a couple of things.  One, which has mentioned in other quarters, is how little was given to foreign policy.

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