5 things to watch in Obama's State of the Union - KCTV5 News

5 things to watch in Obama's State of the Union

By Jessica Yellin, CNN Chief White House Correspondent
updated 1:35 AM EST, Tue Feb 12, 2013

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Will Obama's GOP jabs outweigh any olive branches?
  • State of the Union addresses can sometimes be policy laundry lists
  • Sometimes issues not mentioned say more than what's in the speech
  • What Michelle Obama wears might be biggest surprise of the night

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Barack Obama delivers the first State of the Union address of his second term on Tuesday. Here are five things to watch for as the president lays out his second-term agenda:

Sources say the president will point out bipartisan progress on immigration reform but he'll take it to the GOP on debt and tax reform. Already, Republicans are bracing to play victim.

Tally up the jabs and weigh them against mentions of common ground. That will be an early scorecard for Wednesday-morning quarterbacking.

2. Wish lists

Expect to forget what the president says. Nothing personal, Mr. President, but State of the Union addresses are notoriously forgotten.

John F. Kennedy was a great orator -- quick, what did he say in his State of the Unions? How about Reagan? They're just not great venues for rhetoric.

Granted, the Monroe Doctrine and the Four Freedoms were both laid out in State of the Unions, but in general they tend to be laundry lists for party policy wishes.

An average of 44 million people have watched Obama deliver previous State of the Union addresses. His aides say a huge audience equals a huge opportunity.

So, will he seize the opportunity to answer his critics and respond to his base on issues including: U.S. use of unmanned drones, the legal rationale for targeting Americans, U.S. policy in Syria, Iran's nuclear program, and security of U.S. diplomatic posts? On the domestic front, will he address poverty in the United States?

Will any of these controversial issues make the cut?

Count how many times your issue gets mentioned.

While presidential speechwriters insist the amount of time dedicated to an issue in most speeches doesn't matter as much as the language used to describe it, the State of the Union is an exception. That's because every word is debated.

Aides say this speech will be heavy on economic themes. But look to see how much time Obama spends on the other issues he outlined in his inaugural address, including gay rights, women's rights, climate change and education.

Mentions matter.

Serious people don't care -- or so they say. But since first lady Michelle Obama shocked tout de D.C. by showing her guns in the heroes box during the president's 2009 joint address to Congress, her outfit has become one of the best (sometimes only) surprises of the night.

Will she bare her arms again? Right now, it's one of the most closely held secrets in Washington.

Article on CNN.com

CNN © 2013 Cable News Network.Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Moving nightmare: Kansas City family says movers stole all their belongings

    Moving nightmare: Kansas City family says movers stole all their belongings

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:50:13 GMT
    It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. (Submitted)It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. (Submitted)

    Never has anyone ever said moving is fun. It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. 

    More >

    Never has anyone ever said moving is fun. It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. 

    More >
  • 2 suspects charged with robbery that was caught on tape in Kansas City Apple Store

    2 suspects charged with robbery that was caught on tape in Kansas City Apple Store

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:39 PM EDT2018-05-24 01:39:49 GMT
    Submitted by Kansas City policeSubmitted by Kansas City police
    Submitted by Kansas City policeSubmitted by Kansas City police
    Charges have been filed against two suspects accused of grabbing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Apple Store on The Plaza.  Court records show Timothy O'Neal and DeVarrio O'Neal are suspected of stealing from Apple stores in six Texas cities and Apple stores in Mississippi and Arkansas, taking more than $300,000 worth of merchandise. They have been charged with robbery.  The robbery at the Apple Store's Plaza location was caught on camera and went viral...More >
    Charges have been filed against two suspects accused of grabbing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Apple Store on The Plaza.  Court records show Timothy O'Neal and DeVarrio O'Neal are suspected of stealing from Apple stores in six Texas cities and Apple stores in Mississippi and Arkansas, taking more than $300,000 worth of merchandise. They have been charged with robbery.  The robbery at the Apple Store's Plaza location was caught on camera and went viral...More >
  • Standoff in Overland Park ends with man's death

    Standoff in Overland Park ends with man's death

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 11:17 PM EDT2018-05-24 03:17:43 GMT
    (Submitted photo)(Submitted photo)
    (Submitted photo)(Submitted photo)

    The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the man involved in the standoff Wednesday died from a self-inflicted wound.

    More >

    The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the man involved in the standoff Wednesday died from a self-inflicted wound.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.