Obama speech to pivot off Arizona tragedy
January 25th, 2011
06:15 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama speech to pivot off Arizona tragedy

Washington (CNN) - President Obama is planning to mention the Tucson shooting tragedy near the top of his State of the Union Address Tuesday in order to press members of Congress to "lower your tone and raise your sights" about the future, according to a senior administration official.

"I think the American people are screaming for that," said the senior administration official. "They want adult supervision."

Sticking with the unity theme, the senior official said Obama will also use the "shellacking" his party suffered in the November election - as well as the successes of the lame duck session of Congress in December - to say that if politicians are going to tackle the nation's huge challenges they will "need to do all of it together" in the months ahead.

The senior administration official added that Obama is planning a "very optimistic" tone with five big picture themes, rather than presenting a long list of policy proposals.

"It's very much a thematic, visionary speech," said the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak more candidly ahead of Obama's address. "It's not a laundry list of, 'Now, here's my $2 billion plan ...' We tried to do a speech here that's a pathway to the future."

The senior official said Obama chose this type of speech because he realizes this is a strange "economic moment" for the American public right now because they see economic growth on the rise along with a burgeoning stock market, and yet unemployment is still stuck at 9.4 percent and there is deep anxiety about the future for many Americans.

"He wants to tell the story of where he thinks America is right now and where we go next," said the senior official.

The president's themes will all be focused on "winning the future," according to the senior official, by urging Congress to work with him on several key areas like innovation, education, and fiscal responsibility.

"Those are all the component parts, but to get all of that done we need to work together," the senior official said.


Filed under: President Obama • SOTU 2011
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Marko

    Have a great speech Mr. President!

    January 25, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. Ryan

    Hope he doesn't actually say "raise your sights" in the context, seems to be a poor choice of words.

    January 25, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Horvath

    " President Obama is planning to mention the Tucson shooting tragedy near the top of his State of the Union Address Tuesday in order to press members of Congress to "lower your tone and raise your sights" about the future, according to a senior administration official."

    That's because it got him a rating boost and will do so again. These are the charges against Bush when he was manipulating events, no reason they cannot be applied here either.

    January 25, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. LiberalNN

    Wonderful. More "adult supervision" from the nanny state.

    January 25, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. d

    so..is this "senior official" saying we need "adult supervision" as if this country is a big childish playhouse? that comment is iinsulting to the people of the united states and should not have been said in that way. AND "lowering the tone" needs to go both ways.so far it is only applying to statements made AGAINST the administrations views yet hateful,demonizing rhetoric is still being used toward THOSE persons, and its considered justified... its NOT!

    January 25, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. James

    That's exactly why we need sombody other than this amatuer in office!!

    January 25, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Paul, Fernandina Beach

    It is inappropriate to grandstand the AZ tragedy. This is a State of the Union address not an election rally.
    Makes me ill.

    January 25, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. v

    I'll lower my tone when there is less of a reason to speak out and decry the corruption which has infected the core of my great nation like a throbbing tumor.

    January 25, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. The Unsub

    That's my president!

    January 25, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. ronald malaney

    "He wants to tell the story of where he thinks America is right now and where we go next," said the senior official. can he say broke and broker.

    January 25, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. Dennis K. Biby

    Absurd! The ghoul who rampaged Tucson couldn't discern a Democrat from a Republican from Paul Revere from today's calendar date.

    Civility is the talking point of the day and is important but has NOTHING to do with Tucson.

    January 25, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  12. Albo58

    Shamelessly milking out the Tucson tragedy for as much (politically) as he can get...what a surprise!

    January 25, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    And he should NOT talk about guns tonight – it's about the Economy and Jobs!!! We shall see!!

    Good Luck President Obama – We got your BACK!!!

    January 25, 2011 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |