Barack Obama is finally liberated as he began his seventh year in the Presidency on the sixth anniversary of his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States.
Obama made an appeal to the opposition Republicans to cooperate and work together, but he also made clear he was going to charge ahead on a list of goals that are a marker for the next Democratic Presidential nominee and the Presidential Election of 2016.
He called for infrastructure spending; free community college tuition; child care tax credits; paid leave for workers; immigration reform; effective regulation of gun purchases; tax cuts for the middle class; tax increases on the wealthy and large financial institutions; pointed out the greatest economic success and growth since 1999; threatened use of the veto when necessary; called for authorization of force against ISIL (ISIS); called for action on climate change; used the term transgender in his call for fair treatment of gays and lesbians; called for more support in dealing with improved relations with Cuba; emphasized the need to fight against anti semitism, but also try to come up with a nuclear agreement with Iran; and work to avoid more troops on the ground overseas.
Much of this agenda will not be accomplished, but sets a goal line for the future.
Meanwhile, Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa surprised many observers by NOT totally falling on her face in her Republican response to the State of the Union address, but her speech was mainly platitudes and folksiness, not substantial alternatives to what Obama proposed, but rather a condemnation of what Obama has done, particularly ObamaCare. She also did not speak on such important issues as climate change, immigration, foreign policy, and helping working families, but then, the Republicans always stand in the way of progress on so many issues, so it is not surprising that her speech was lacking.