When President Obama gave his first State of the Union address on Wednesday night, he had a lot of ground to cover. Presidents have traditionally used this annual address before congress to touch on the most pressing issues in the national zeitgeist. Healthcare, the economy and campaign finance law were at the top of the list of domestic issues the president tackled, while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as disaster relief in Haiti dominated the portions of the speech dedicated to international affairs.
But how does everything look from here, 3000 miles away from the pomp and circumstance, the partisan applause lines and the presidential shout-outs?
How do you assess the state of the union? What is your assessment of the president, the federal government and where the country is headed? How have government programs — such as the stimulus package, the first time home buyer tax credit and the bank bailout — affected your life? Are you better off now than you were a year ago? What hopes and fears do you have going into this year?
- Tom Cox: Managing consultant for Cox Business Consulting and chair of the candidate recruitment committee for the Oregon Republican Party
- Karol Collymore: Co-edior of Blue Oregon and communications and project manager for Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogan