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January 27, 2014  

Obama’s SOTU 2014:  Generous Portions of Lame Duck;

In his State of the Union address tomorrow, President Obama likely will revive his oft-repeated theme: “Last year was unnecessarily challenging, and this year will be, too, unless Republicans cooperate with me to get things done.” This will be his rationale for cutting back on big-ticket items this election year.

The truth is, the president has arrived at the first year of his second term with huge political deficits and miscalculations accrued over the last four years -- which the Republicans effectively have used to keep him in check. Obama’s SOTU 2014, therefore, will reflect the chastened president’s new reality: launching any major legislative offensives this year and leading up to 2016 is politically too risky, both for his legacy and the fortunes of the Democratic Party.

Obama will pursue an agenda that is expedient and safe. The hurting constituencies that elected him should hold out no hopes that their needs top his list.

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