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. Jack Carslon

    Obama has lied so much we won't watch him anymore – he thinks we are dumb. Well we got his number now.
    His little nothing moves don't convince us.
    Jack C
    Wa

    January 26, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. MatthewDetroit

    1.45 Trilion added to the national debt in 2009
    1.35 Trillion to be added to the national debt in 2010
    1.35 Trillion to be added to the national debt in 2011
    1.35 Trillion to be added to the nationl debt in 2012

    Are you kidding me. STOP SPENDING BARACK.
    You clowns complained about President Bush and I agreed the guy spent crazy and he let congress get away with it. He added 5 trillion to the national debt in "8" years.

    Barack is adding 5.5 trillion in "4" years.... FOUR.

    You are driving us into the ground and 10.2% unemployment. You are ruining the country. Stop everything else. Cut spending.

    January 26, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. James Jones

    An entire year has gone by and wasted Stimulus, one goofy program after another and now he talks about jobs. He's a kook. We are already so sick of the fake.
    James J
    Co

    January 26, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Aspen Professor

    It is time to get tough Obama! Enough of the appeasement of the hyocritical, arrogant, off-shore nation building Republicans.

    It is time to throw the lies back in their face and get TOUGH! 80% of the American public wants nothing less.

    January 26, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. Timothy Graves

    Obama can go into his cave and stay there. He will go down as the worst Pres in American history "by far".
    Tim G
    Mn

    January 26, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. jeckel, AZ

    Would that he had paid as much attention to the voice of the people in the last year as he now is to his personal spin on the State of the Union. Seems he only cares about one thing: getting another hollow "howdy, I'm fightin' for you" speech out to belay the public's outcry and try to convince them his administration is not a disaster.

    January 26, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. jk

    It took one week for CNN to destry Mr. Obama....
    what a shame!

    January 26, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. joe m

    this is going to be a tough speech. how does he convince the nation that he is still 'the one'? after a year where americans saw insane levels of spending, greater political polarization, failures to deliver on major promises, and 'hope' of 'change' all but virtually gone, the president needs to choose his words well. good thing is this is just his first year. he still has a lot of time to turn things around. his major obstacle if to recognize that most americans are really tired of the same old politics and are more towards the center, rather than the left or right. if there is one thing that would be a safe bet to make, one can expect lots of spin after the speech.

    January 26, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Paul from Phoenix

    Maybe he can comment on why HIS government (not Bush's) has failed when it comes to preparing the nation for a biological attack.

    Readt the bipartisain report by former Senators Graham and Talent. It is pretty pathetic.

    January 26, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Mike

    I hope his teleprompter crashes. Heck he even had to use it to speak to a 6th grade class. Priceless.

    January 26, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. jay

    On the day that Obama was elected the right started to whine and cry about it. That was why they have the teabaggers. The left is upset with Obama, for trying so hard to work with the obstructionists on the right. We would be happy for him to tell them to kiss it, know what I mean? Brown wasn't elected because of what Obama and the dems have done, but because of what they HAVEN'T done.

    January 26, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  12. Sam Sixpack

    You can fool some of the people all of the time.

    January 26, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. AJ

    Oh barf, yet more rhetoric from the king of inaction. Obama will do what all Democrats do when they are facing challanges. He will move as far to the right as he possibly can without actually crawling up Mitch McConnell's rear end and becoming a lockstep republican. Democratic ideals will be abandoned and the democratic base and progressives will stay home in 2010 handing the legislature back to republicans for yet another 10 years of stagnation.
    Its really kind of a waste of time to even be involved in Democratic politics at the federal level.

    January 26, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  14. Chipster

    I'm sure the speech will be a good one and then the 24/7 cable cycle will go to work to twist, ridicule, prey on whatever paranoia they know is lurking among the American public. By morning, people will be angry, paranoid, frustrated, confused, and will have heard that the President said something he never came close to saying.

    Relatively few will actually watch it. They will wait for Rush, Hannity, and Beck to translate it for them and then they will bask in their anger. They thirst for that anger.

    January 26, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. Obama Victim

    tough job explaining why he is a total diaster

    January 26, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Bambi go Boom

    I love you, Mr. President!

    January 26, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. ken

    Right wing controlled media....

    They reported all year and came down to advocate for right wing nuts!

    January 26, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. james Miller

    He needs to be firm and draw a line in the sand and show he is solidly for the middle man and emphasize the enormity of the recent court ruling on corporate political contributions.----- Focusing on taking our country back from the corporate world can be a monumental political windfall if properly handled.

    January 26, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  19. Minnesota gal

    I just saw this on CNN front page but it has been on the net and just now made it to a major news agency. Of course the MSM doesn't post things like this very often. It is not good press to tell all the good stuff the stimulus is doing. They can't get the public hyped up on the stimulus plan, then they couldn't get the republicans back into office to steal, and promote hate and violence. That makes better copy.

    Oh the thing the stimulus is doing, helping to stock food pantries. You know. Those places where all the Americans who are out of work and can't find any jobs, BECAUSE BUSH AND COMPANY SENT THEM OVERSEAS, find food to feed their families.

    January 26, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. John

    good luck on talking up health care reform.... although we need a version of it....and everybody agrees on that.... what you let get shoved though both houses is a travesty.....a waste of our tax dollars and congress' time.....

    here's an idea for you....

    try talking about jobs, sir..... that's what people care about....

    you don't get it, do you?.....

    January 26, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Gordon Shumway

    Obama should explain his successes as well as his failures.

    He successfully changed the war on terror to a nonmilitary judicial process. He Mirandized the Christmas Day bomber less than an hour after apprehension and arrest and refused to let military professionals interrogate him.

    So, in effect, he has downgraded our ability to defend against terrorism. I seriously wonder if he considers this a success or a failure.

    January 26, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. Truth

    We’ve now seen three landslide Republican victories in three states that President Obama carried in 2008. From the tea parties to the town halls to the Massachusetts Miracle, Americans have tried to make their opposition to Washington’s big government agenda loud and clear. But the President has decided that this current discontent isn’t his fault, it’s ours. He seems to think we just don’t understand what’s going on because he hasn’t had the chance – in his 411 speeches and 158 interviews last year – to adequately explain his policies to us.....read the rest on FB -Sarah Palin

    January 26, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. gt

    obama is grasping for straws... he has no plan no direction to take this country,,, the emperor has no clothes...

    January 26, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Dar

    Why would it take 3 months to write a speech?
    I guess he has to fine tune his lies.
    And then he has to pratice his speech, kind of like an actor would do.
    Odumbo is such a tool. Why O Why did we hire this fool.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 26, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Right Leaning Independent

    Sorry but I have heard enough talk from Obama! Actions speak louder than words. We have been subjected to his agenda for the past 12 months and we reject it! He failed to keep so many promises made during his campaign that I will not believe one word he utters!!!

    January 26, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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