January 26th, 2010
10:20 AM ET
5 years ago

President Obama still crafting critical speech

It's down to the wire for President Obama.
It's down to the wire for President Obama.

(CNN) - It's down to the wire for President Obama.

White House aides say he's still writing what could arguably be the most important speech of his young presidency. Tuesday, Mr. Obama is working with lead speechwriter Jon Favreau and foreign policy speechwriter Ben Rhodes to craft his critical State of the Union Address.

White House spokesman Bill Burton says they've lost count of the multiple drafts which have gone into editing the address, but the tinkering continues. The White House writing team began crafting the speech back in November. The president became involved the following month, but now Mr. Obama is pouring through the pages with a fine tooth comb."There has been a lot of hard work on it in past couple of days," Burton said.

The president is writing part of it in long hand, as he did for his Nobel Peace Prize address, but most has been done on computer, aides say. As changes are still being made, Mr. Obama has not yet started practicing his delivery in the White House theater.

The president's proposal to freeze non-security discretionary spending for three years will be announced during his State of the Union. Burton says that initiative to reign in federal spending was written in the address before the Massachusetts special election that cost Democrats their 60-seat supermajority.

White House officials say the president will emphasize the importance of "creating good jobs, addressing the deficit, changing Washington, and fighting for middle class families." Burton says Mr. Obama will also talk about the need for health care reform, his top domestic priority, that got railroaded after the partys' Massachusetts loss.

soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. MatthewDetroit

    I am going to cut 15 billion a year....
    But I am spending us into debt at a rate of 1.35 Trillion a year...

    YOUR math does not work Barack.

    Maybe you really did not pass all your classes at Harvard.
    Were you smart or did you get into Harvard some other way....
    Maybe we should see your academic record that you have NEVER released...
    Maybe your time at Columbia...you should have been at community college....maybe your high school grades were not that great.

    January 26, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. TCM

    Obama's dumb-downed the middle class to include those under 85k....all the way to zero.....I'm sure millions of middle-class folk appreciated being lumped in with the ZERO income entitlement leaches bleeding our country dry. Obama's pushing the socialistic agenda hard; driving to "convince," the country that we're well beneath him. Someone needs to remind this idiot that he's a public servant and not a rock star.

    January 26, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Terry from West Texas

    Conservatives are absolutely awful at governing. They cannot refuse a bribe from a corpoate lobbyist (it is a point of honor among Conservative politicians), the run the government like an ATM machine to award no-bid, no-audit contracts to their friends and relatives, and they typically double the national debt during their terms in office. (Reagan $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion. Bush Sr $3 trillion to $4.5 trillion. Bush Jr. $6 trillion to $11 trillion. google it)

    But, when it comes to toppling a government they don't like, they are superb. Their playbook is carefully crafted: block, stall, criticize, oppose, delay, prevent, minimize, exaggerate, lie, make ridiculous unsupported charges, make more ridiculous unsupported charges, pretend to be "offended" so as to start a feud, keep everything at the personal level, never never discuss policy, never never offer an alternate plan (you will have to defend it), and attack, attack, attack.

    January 26, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We're still with you Mr. President! We know that you'd rather be an effective one term President, than do what is required to get you re-elected. This is yet another reason why I have not regretted voting for you. Keep the vision sir, re-adjust and set your course.

    January 26, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. stormerF

    Obama to propose freeze of budget? Too little to late $250 billion is nothing over a 3 year period when the budget is over 1.8 trillion a year. Obama is so frickin arrogant he feels the Tax Payer is as stupid as he is when it comes to math.

    January 26, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. Personal responsibility, please.

    If he brings up President Bush (or the past eight years) again, I'll turn him off forever.

    Blaming others can only go so far... and he's used up his share. His digressive policies and spending are causing independents at turn on him.

    January 26, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. stevegee

    We don't need to wait for more teleprompted-propaganda from Obama. The State of the Union is high unemployment, obscene deficits, and a stifling federal bureaucracy.

    Spin it any way you like, Obama is pushing our country toward socialism. But, the American people have finally recognized that they were hoodwinked in 2008.

    And now they're rejecting the liberal agenda in ever-growing numbers - just look at Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Can't wait till November when the State of the Union will be more conservative than ever!

    January 26, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Bingo

    Here's what I'll be listening for in this speech:

    1. Quit blaming President Bush. YOU are the man in charge; it is on your watch. You didn't inherit anything, you actively sought the job and all the responsibility it includes.
    2. Quit apologizing for America. We are now and have been for centuries the greatest, most generous and most selfless country on earth. We are not nor have we ever been arrogant and we have nothing to apologize for.
    3. Accept that the problems are not with how well or poorly you have explained the issues for the American people but rather how poorly you have listened to the American people.
    4. Recognize that government is not the solution to the all of the country's problems and especially is not the solution to individual's problems. Personal responsibility and empowerment is answer, not government handouts.
    5. Recommit to the open, bipartison government that you promised in your campaign and inaugural address AND MEAN IT.

    Speak from the heart - not the teleprompter.

    January 26, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Jane/Seattle

    Dear President Obama:

    Show us Correct ACTION To Stop Pandering to those who only seek profit. Show us how you will lead us out of this mess, not pander to the Military Industrial Complex. Regulate these gigantic (too big to exist) conglomerates of POWER. SHOW US That MAIN STREET is who you REALLY serve. Anything less and you have lost all progressives for Good.

    Thanks and why not get some of us for your advisors? We The People Know what WE Need. We need affordable homes, food, medical care, dental care, fewer wasted tax dollars (like for WARS AND Profits to billionares), Decent Livable WAGE Jobs (the ones coming back to America if you will get this done), less global capitalism and continual Raping of the planet. Please get this done, Sir. Peace and good luck. I know the profiteers won't help much!

    Sincerely,
    Jaane/Seattle/Voter/Left of Progressive

    January 26, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. buckwheat

    Should do it in a barn where the surroundings are better suited for the message we are about to receive. You can bet it will be different than the message he gave to get elected but will fit right in.

    January 26, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Mayo

    Whats up with Obama? Remote control president?

    January 26, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Critical speech – "down to the wire"

    This is typical of Obama's presidency so far. The speeches and the talking seem far more newsworthy than actually DOING something the helps.

    International reaction seems pretty honest and consistant: Nice words – let's see what he does. We are all waiting.

    January 26, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Rex

    Critical speech......what a crock of crap. Nobody listens to this mans empty words anymore. If there is even one "Bush's Fault" in it, this man is done. More empty words on job creation and fixing the economy that he screwed up by spending us into oblivion. Critical is an over statement, since nobody will be listening to another campaign speech from this naive, weak, inexperienced empty suit who is in way over his head. So much for working for all Americans, Mr. Democratic Campaigner in chief. Wheres the transparency, line by line elimination of pork and the televised health care debates on Cspan.................empty words from the empty suit and you fools fell for it and voted him into office. Nice job!

    January 26, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. Enough

    Well who's he going to blame now? The Blame Bush is no longer effective and we all know that this mess is 100% Obama, Pelosi and Reid running rampant with the empty check book.

    January 26, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
1 2 3