I began listening to the State of the Union address at home, then part of it while driving. For the three quarters of the speech that I was able to catch, here are a few of my thoughts on it.
1. It was another typical feel-good platitudinal political speech.
2. It was a hopelessly hopeful speech without the audacity of Hope.
I’m sure Mr. Obama deliberately left out the word "hope" (and change) especially in the context of his campaign promises and theme. Why? Because Americans had lost - and are losing - hope in his administration. Besides, he keeps pointing the finger and blaming the previous administration for America's problems. What Obama needs to understand is that due mostly to Bush’s (and the Republicans’) political pitfalls, blunders, mistakes and mishaps, he and the Democrats won the presidency - serendipitously!
3. In his address, Obama uses what I personally call the "gloom will bloom" approach. He portrays America as a largely gloomy and mediocre nation - despite all her successes and achievements - in order to advance and sell his blooming and winning the future political pitch.
4. It was a still-moving-to-the-center speech with 2012 in mind. He once said - or at least entertained the thought - that he was going to be a one-term president. Now he’s already starting his campaign for next year - and next term. He is also trying to give an impression and image of a moderate president who can broker some kind of unity between the parties especially now with a split Congress.
5. About the theme of the speech, "Winning the Future" - Isn’t that a variant or a metaphorical allusion for Hope?
By the way, if Obama wins a second term, it would only be because of a steady economic recovery which will not be from any of his doing, but rather by the natural market and economic patterns and fluctuations. And in that case, he should officially be dubbed as a serendipitous president - or simply, Mr. Serendipity.