BY JORDAN BARTH
On Jan. 28., President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress and the American public.
Themes of congressional bipartisanship and cooperation with the Executive branch were constantly harked upon by Obama in his address.
“Last month, thanks to the work of Democrats and Republicans, Congress finally produced a budget that undoes some of last year’s severe cuts to priorities like education.”
“Both Democrats and Republicans have argued that our tax code is riddled with wasteful, complicated loopholes that punish businesses investing here, and reward companies that keep profits abroad.”
Obama balanced his bipartisan rhetoric with words asserting his power as President.
“In the coming weeks, I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay… a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour…” Obama said.
Obama’s inspirational oratory nature, harking back from the 2008 election, were shown throughout his address.
“They believe, and I believe, that here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams. It’s how… the son of a barkeep is speaker of the House, how the son of a single mom can be president of the greatest nation on Earth.”
County College of Morris students were not shy to express their views of the address.
“The biggest thing for me is how non partisan the speech was. It was very surprising and reassuring. It put back my confidence in our political system,” said Kevin Hubbard, a Criminal Justice major at CCM.
“I thought that the State of the Union address by Obama was a very inspirational speech that covered some topics that are important to our american creed and values. I thought he missed out on some important topics like legalizing marijuana nation-wide or didn’t elaborate enough on the minimum wage being raised due to inflation rising every year,” Chris Ryan, a criminal justice major.
Luca Bonvini, a Liberal Arts major, thought that Obama made some good points but he used it to try to boost his approval ratings.
“He doesn’t seem to want to work with Congress much in the future and has proven that in the past,” Bonvini said.
A rhetorically poignant moment occurred when the President introduced a guest of honor, Cory Remsburg.
Obama met the Sgt. First Class Army Ranger during a reenactment of D-Day on the event’s 65’th anniversary at Omaha Beach. He described Cory as a “…strong, impressive young man, with an easy manner, sharp as a tack.”
A few months after their meeting. Cory was gravely injured on his tenth deployment, Cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
“His comrades found him in a canal, face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain,” Obama described.
Today, Cory remains blind in one eye and struggles with movement on his left side.
“Day by day, he’s learned to speak again and stand again and walk again – and he’s working toward the day when he can serve his country again.” Obama said.
“‘My recovery has not been easy,’ he said. ‘Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy,'” Obama exalted.
Cory Remsburg was then helped up by his father, Craig, and the first lady, Michelle Obama. He received about a minute and a half of applause and cheers from the joint session. Some political commentators described this moment as one of the longest applauses ever given during a State of the Union address.
Members from both parties stood up and recognized the young man for his courageous service to his country.