State of the Union: An Overview

President Barack Obama addressed the American people and expressed his ideas for improving the nation in this year’s State of the Union speech Tuesday January, 20.

“The shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong,” Obama stated.

In his speech, Obama began by highlighting the achievements of the nation, such as the lowered unemployment rate, the fastest growing economy and job creation since 1989, and the more than ten million uninsured Americans who now have health coverage.

Among the statements he made, he also pressed forward in his new thoughts on how to better our nation, including equal pay for men and women, free community college for those willing to work for it, and brought a focus to dealing with climate change as a major issue.

The republican response that followed was presented by freshman Iowa senator Joni Ernst, whose political ads promoting her childhood as a hog farmer castrating pigs drew much attention to. While Obama attempted to relate to the American people through the true story of a young couple attempting to follow the American dream, Ernst told the story of her poor past in Iowa.

“You see, growing up, I had only one good pair of shoes. So on rainy school days, my mom would slip plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry,” Ernst explained, “But I was never embarrassed. Because the school bus would be filled with rows and rows of young Iowans with bread bags slipped over their feet.”

Both parties discussed the hardship many Americans face, while both offered different ideas to solve the issue. While many Republicans clapped in agreement with Obama’s statements, it is still unclear whether this agreement will continue out into congress and create new laws.