State of the Union Tonight
Kid Reporters watch the President from the campaign to the office.
Tonight President Barack Obama will deliver his first State of the Union address. The speech is made to a Joint Session of Congress (both House and Senate members) in the House of Representatives chamber in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
I followed Obama on the campaign trail in 2008 and am interested to hear what he has to say now that he has been in office for a year. I’ll report back in a blog post tomorrow about my observations.
But what is a State of the Union address? Nearly a year ago, just after his inauguration, President Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress. But this speech tonight will be his first official State of the Union address.
The State of the Union is among the President’s constitutional duties. The address informs Congress of the nation’s current condition. It is also a political opportunity for him to present his legislative plans and national priorities for the upcoming year. This is especially important in a mid-term election year. All 435 House members and one third of the Senate are up for re-election in November.
President Obama, known for his eloquent and poised oratory style, is expected to confront numerous controversies tonight. His tone will be “populist,” say some political watchers, meaning he will be speaking to the interests of regular American citizens.
The President is expected to focus on growing unemployment problems by suggesting new ways to create jobs for the middle-class and stimulate the economy. He is also expected to focus on voter complaints about his healthcare reform plan and the ongoing struggles for American families.
Other controversial topics will be the President’s proposed federal “spending freeze”—an effort to reduce our growing national debt.
The State of the Union speech will be broadcast on all major TV networks, and online at www.whitehouse.gov starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The speech is expected to last 60 minutes. If you do homework instead of watching, you can always check back here to find out what happened!
PHOTO: Kid Reporter Elizabeth Conway talks with Senator Barack Obama after a campaign stop in New Hampshire in September 2008, two months before he was elected President. (Photo courtesy Elizabeth Conway)