Episode #110: The State of the Union, under Obama and Bush 41

The State of the Union is strong, Barack Obama said on Tuesday evening, delivering his final State of the Union address as president. Unlike the usual laundry list of items a president wants Congress to work on, Obama instead focused on an economy he insisted was in good shape and a foreign policy he said was second to none. And he also made some not-so-veiled swipes at the leading Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Paul Glastris, the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly and a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, offers his analysis on the nearly one-hour speech and compares it to addresses, and presidents, of the past.

A curious absence from the speech was a discussion about guns. Robert Spitzer, a political science professor at SUNY Cortland, recaps Obama’s goals on reducing gun violence and discusses the possibilities of change, given Congress’ stated desire not to change laws.

And Jon Meacham joins the program to discuss his new biography of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president who soared in popularity in the aftermath of the successful 1991 Gulf War but who was ousted after just one term, with the lowest numbers for an incumbent since William Howard Taft in 1912.

Photo via Evan Vucci – Pool/Getty Images

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