Julian Zelizer: Obama, Think Big for State of the Uniontags: Julian Zelizer, CNN, Barack Obama, State of the Union, presidential speeches
Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and of "Governing America."
(CNN) -- President Obama is set to deliver the first State of the Union Address of his new term. On Tuesday evening, he will step before a joint session of Congress and a nation in difficult times.
Unemployment rose in January to 7.9%. There are signs of economic progress, but millions of Americans are struggling to find a job while others are desperate to keep the one they have.
Other kinds of economic challenges face many people. The Pew Research Center recently released a study showing the growing number of adults who are struggling to support grown children and their parents, the "Sandwich Generation" as they are called....
It may be tempting to list a series of measures Obama wants Congress to pass, but the president should use this speech to do something more than provide a laundry list, and the historical record offers some guidance about how.
The speech can offer a vision. In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt gave one of the most historic State of the Union addresses when he outlined the Four Freedoms. He delivered his speech on the brink of America becoming involved in World War II. With Europe and Asia in the middle of a major military crisis, FDR defined the four freedoms that he believed should be the foundation of the international system: the freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to worship God, the freedom from want and, finally, the freedom from fear....
comments powered by Disqus
- Could another English king be buried under a parking lot?
- Huckabee says archaeology supports the Bible
- George W. Bush's CIA Briefer: Bush and Cheney Falsely Presented WMD Intelligence to Public
- Unfinished film about the Holocaust made in 1945 to finally be seen by audiences
- Two-Thirds of European Men Descend From Three People
- Daniel Pipes calls the rulers of Iran "madmen" on official Iranian TV
- A Professor Tries to Beat Back a News Spoof That Won’t Go Away
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- Sean Wilentz is being called “Hillary’s Historian"
- Hundreds of British historians challenge assumptions of “Historians for Britain” campaign