Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:48 am
This year's State of the Union address may have set a record for fewest surprises.
The usual elements were all in place, starting with the sergeant at arms shouting across the din of the chamber, quieting the crowd of worthies from both House and Senate, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court.
Then the president made his way down the center aisle, shaking hands with the members who had sent staff members to reserve these favored seats for hours for just this moment.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney earned more than $42 million over the past two years — the bulk of it from an array of stocks and investment funds. And he paid about 15 percent of what he made in taxes. The release of some 500 pages of tax returns give a much fuller picture of how he made his money and what he did with it.
In an article in The New Yorker, author Ryan Lizza describes President Obama as someone who spoke of a post-partisan world but also made calculated political moves. The article is called "The Obama Memos." Steve Inskeep talks to Lizza about the president's State of the Union address.
As the president delivered the final State of the Union address of his term before a looming re-election battle, he looked out at a sea of angry and skeptical Republicans who had fought him on budgets, government shutdowns, and whether or not to raise the nation's debt ceiling.
And what did President Bill Clinton do in 1996?
He delivered his "the era of big government is over" speech, which The Washington Post summed up this way: "Clinton Embraced GOP Themes in Setting Agenda."
The Federal Reserve will announce on Wednesday what officials expect to do with the rates it controls for next couple of years. The Fed will join central banks in Sweden, Norway and New Zealand in relaying information about expectations for short-term interest rates. Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal about why the Fed is doing this, and the impact it will have.
The Japanese government has announced that the country's trade balance has gone negative. It's the first time since 1980 that Japan's export-based economy has recorded a trade deficit. Economists say the strength of the yen and weak global demand have hit Japanese exports hard.
President Obama gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night. The speech was one part blueprint for economic cooperation, and one part political warning shot — as Obama prepares for a tough re-election campaign.
President Obama has delivered what could be his last State of the Union address as he fights for re-election. How did speech go over with the 535 members of Congress? Among those commenting, California Republican Dana Rohrbacher said Obama tried to take both sides on a lot of issues.