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Forget SOTU Address: Obama Needs State of Reunifying Action Post-January

In Articles on February 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm
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Ignore the platitudes we heard from President Obama during the State of the Union Address. Without presidential leadership that unifies in action throughout 2014, this year’s address rings hollow

WASHINGTON, DC / PITTSBURGH  (January 29, 2014) 

We know how the speech began: with some variation or series of initial statements proclaiming how strong the Union is as we start 2014. We heard about the added jobs to the economy. We heard about the lowered unemployment rate. We heard about stories of heroism from everyday Americans, some of whom were noted as special guests in attendance Tuesday evening.

While we were told of our strengths at the beginning of the prime time speech, we were subsequently brought back to the realities that millions of Americans face daily in the Obama-driven economy. We heard the buzzwords and catch phrases that indicate to us that, perhaps, our Union is not as strong as we were just told by the second-term president.

Income inequality. Poverty. Debt ceiling negotiations. “We still have work to do.”

Jobs are scarce, while good jobs are mostly filled by frightened Americans scared to lose what they currently have. People have given up on looking for work as the labor force has hit record lows for workforce participation rates. Poverty has also risen to record numbers as well, with far too many Americans counting on unstable food stamp availability and eroding unemployment benefits to get through the daily grind. People are losing labor hours, healthcare insurance plans that worked for them for years – and hope for better days ahead, all during the Age of Obama.

Yet, as long as we continue to see from President Obama – in tone, in verbiage, and in action – a sentiment suggesting that these woes are the exclusive work of one political party versus another, these hardships will not subside in 2014, making the State of the Union Address another annual exercise in futility akin to my new year’s resolution to give up Dunkin Donuts’ coffee.

Forget what you heard from President Obama Tuesday night as Commander-in-Chief during the State of the Union Address. If he does not lead as Unifier-in-Chief from February through December, his words will ring hollow and their positive impact on the nation will be negligible – just as they have over the past 5 years.

President Obama has overseen an unfortunate string of disappointing efforts on the part of the American government collectively and from his administration individually throughout the duration of his presidency. From the roll-out of Obamacare last fall on back to the failure to cap unemployment at 7.0% by way of the stimulus package enacted 5 years ago, there has been an array of heartaches and adjustments that the American people have endured without the energy of “hope and change” to carry them through effectively.

From camera-ready bi-partisan debates on healthcare reform that never happened to hastened starts of not-ready projects (such as the administrative errors around the AIG bonus payouts and the red tape woes with the stimulus money along with Obamacare’s initial website problems), President Obama has been dead-set on pushing his political agenda through instead of focusing on pushing for tangible success, even if that means bridging the gap with Republicans during times of super-majorities on Capitol Hill as well as of divided government. As a result, Americans have suffered through ongoing economic hardships and a jobless “recovery” from the Great Recession. All the while, the tone of the nation has turned increasingly bitter as waves of political and social rhetoric rip this traumatized nation further apart.

Ironically, Mr. Obama – once the promise of a post-partisan and post-racial America – now stands as flashpoint for America’s regression, not progress, on multiple grounds. In many ways, unless his presidential style changes, this “Obama Effect” will go on overseeing a divided country, not a state of union.

The most disappointing aspect of the 44th President has been his continued failure to live up to the unifying rhetoric and vision that he projected as a candidate in 2008 and as a newly-minted president in his inaugural days in office. Talk of President Obama as the new Camelot, this generation’s President Reagan, or an inspiring Nobel Peace Prize winner for the good of the nation has constantly been drowned out by the political noise of blaming Republicans and the political missteps of 2009 and 2010 when Obama’s political capital was at its height. Major legislative items such as immigration reform, education reform, infrastructure re-development, and joblessness could have been addressed better (or, in some cases, addressed at all) if the focus on the president stayed on addressing the historic needs of the nation, not on the political advantages in Congress in 2009 and subsequent bickering afterward. Being historic as a president has nothing to do with winning unexpected elections. At one point in 1980, Reagan was an underdog to an incumbent president. Being historic – particularly for the sake of the Union – involves taking the nation to a new place for enriching and successful partnerships, prosperity, and posterity. Talking at political opponents in January, then talking around them for the rest Presidential addresses create debate. Presidential action – or any void of successful action thereof – creates legacy.

If President Obama wants a presidential legacy that will be honored by all Americans once his tenure has completed, he must look past the flowing words that he has offered us at this time each year during the State of the Union Address. He must advance a state of mind and a mode of governing that reunifies a politically-, socioeconomically-, and culturally-divided nation. Flowery words in January and fiery rhetoric for the following eleven months simply has not gotten results for Americans on his watch. Therefore, in 2014, we must ignore the words of an address in January and hold accountable a president for his actions from February onward.

Lenny McAllister is a political commentator featured on various local, national and international outlets including PCNC, CNN, and Sun News Network. He is the host of “The McAllister Minute” which appears weekly on “The Bev Smith Show” and the American Urban Radio Network. The Pittsburgh-based pundit is the former host of of Launching Chicago With Lenny McAllister on WVON The Talk of Chicago 1690 AM. He is a former congressional candidate. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (January 23, 2014)

In Audio on January 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm
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CLICK PICTURE FOR PODCAST:
Should American “puff puff pass” on President Obama’s “open-minded” perspective on marijuana usage?

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (January 23, 2014) PODCAST TOPIC: Why “Mary Jane” isn’t the girl for your kid, despite the remarks from President Obama

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of Get Right with Lenny McAllister by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above.

 

WATCH: Lenny McAllister Discusses Next Steps in US Politics in 2014 on AJAm (December 22, 2013)

In Video on January 6, 2014 at 11:56 am
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Lenny McAllister shrugs off illness to discuss what to expect in US politics in 2014 on Al Jaz America.

WASHINGTON, DC / PITTSBURGH  (December 22, 2013) –  Battling a tough illness, Lenny McAllister talks about what to expect for President Obama and US politicians in 2014 in this version of “News” on Al Jazeera America.

 

 

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (December 9, 2013)

In Audio on December 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm
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Why aren’t more people acting excited about the November jobs reports?

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (December 9, 2013) – PODCAST TOPIC: Why are the people that need the jobs news the most the least excited about Friday’s reports?

 

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

 

Catch this version of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. Also catch The McAllister Minute” on the American Urban Radio Network, where “The McAllister Minute” commentary is aired on over 400 stations throughout the AURN network.

 

 

LISTEN: Get Right with Lenny McAllister (November 18, 2013)

In Audio on November 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm
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Storms rip up the Midwest and destroy lives…

WWW.LENNYMCALLISTER.COM (November 18, 2013) – PODCAST TOPIC: Storms across the Midwest rip apart many lives.

Former WVON radio host, former congressional candidate, and nationally-respected political activist Lenny McAllister hosts today’s podcast of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister”.

Catch this version of “Get Right with Lenny McAllister” by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. Also catch “The McAllister Minute” on the American Urban Radio Network, where “The McAllister Minute” commentary is aired on over 400 stations throughout the AURN network.

LISTEN: The McAllister Minute (Sept 25 – Oct 1, 2013)

In Audio, The McAllister Minute on September 30, 2013 at 4:53 pm
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“…Maybe the Tea Party, Ted Cruz, and the majority of Americans have some good points about Obamacare…From delays of implementations for certain employers to the rousing opposition from the unions – President Obama’s political buddies during campaign season – there are plenty of signs that the self-repeal of the Affordable Care Act should be continued with a total delay for all Americans…Especially when you consider that only roughly 50% of the components of this law are on-schedule with implementation…”

AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORK (September 25, 2013–  “There’s an old expression that says that it can be tough being caught between a rock and a hard place.

“Well, is there an expression that explains the tough spot our nation is in since we’re caught between a hopeless filibuster, a bad law, and poor leadership?

“Ted Cruz’s Obamacare filibuster brought to the American people courtesy of the Tea Party Movement and Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” may seem like another ridiculous notion by a conservative movement intent on stopping the history-making legislation that was passed in 2010 and confirmed as legal by the Supreme Court in 2012.

“It would be nice if the political alternative to this hard place by the hard right would be a rock of stability and success. Instead, what we have been getting are rocky times and a rocky record on consistency.

“From delays of implementations for certain employers to the rousing opposition from the unions – President Obama’s political buddies during campaign season – there are plenty of signs that the self-repeal of the Affordable Care Act should be continued with a total delay for all Americans.

“Especially when you consider that only roughly 50% of the components of this law are on-schedule with implementation.

“Especially when you consider that employers are already cutting hours for employees in order to avoid paying for health care costs starting in 2014, leaving desperate families fighting through the economic malaise of the Obama – Recovery – with fewer wages and fewer opportunities for full-time work available.

“Especially when you consider that it was passed exclusively by only one party in Washington – a party that was banished to the political sidelines in the mid-term elections just a few months afterwards.

“And when you consider that the inconsistencies of granted exemptions, of implementation delays, of rising premiums, and limited health care choices are not just limited to Obamacare….

“…when you consider the ‘accidental diplomacy’ with the Syria Civil War  that made a former KGB operative look like a peacemaker and a Nobel Peace Prize winner look like a warmonger….when you consider that this Obama Recovery boasts of a record amount of Americans leaving the workforce, depressed that jobs on Main Street are not returning like the profits on Wall Street have…

“Put that all together – and you have not just rocky times for American politics, but also a rocky road of shaky leadership from this president and Congress.”

Catch this version of “The McAllister Minute” by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. Also catch the version on the American Urban Radio Network, where “The McAllister Minute” commentary is aired on over 400 stations throughout the AURN network.

LISTEN: The McAllister Minute (January 2 – January 8, 2013)

In Audio, Lenny for Congress, The McAllister Minute on January 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm
Who won the fiscal cliff showdown in Washington? Or, is it a question of if we all lost during the process? Find out in the latest version of The McAllister Minute

Who won the fiscal cliff showdown in Washington? Or, is it a question of if we all lost during the process? Find out in the latest version of The McAllister Minute

AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORK (Across America) (January 2, 2013)

“Let’s be clear about what just happened with the fiscal cliff deal passed over New Year’s weekend by the Senate and House of Representatives.

 

“No one won – and everyone lost, starting with you.

 

“Sure, there will be people that will do their best to spin the negotiations politically to say that President Obama and the Democrats won the negotiations or that the Republicans were able to make their points known and accounted for, even though they were the losers in this past election cycle.

 

“But, do you feel like anyone really won through all of this?

 

“For example, the Bush tax cuts that President Obama campaigned against in 2008 – then signed into law in 2010 – then campaigned against again in 2012….were just – again – extended by the president. This time, the threshold of $250,000 that the election-night victor noted repeated was now pushed up to almost twice that limit. The estate tax went up marginally as well, instead of the larger increase that the Democrats were looking for.

 

“Just the same, do the Republicans have much to hang their hats on? Proclaiming a victory on fending off a tax hike on Americans making less than $450,000 annually comes off as hollow when considering that the payroll tax will go up on all Americans in 2013. Of course, that doesn’t matter as much as the primary tea party issue: the national debt. As long as fiscal compromise in Washington starts with legislation that increases the national debt by trillions, Republicans should be hanging their heads in shame, not hanging their hats on an accomplishment.”

 

Catch this version of “The McAllister Minute” by clicking the hyperlink or the picture above. Also catch the version on the American Urban Radio Network, where “The McAllister Minute” commentary is aired on over 400 stations throughout the AURN network all across the United States.

 

Don’t forget: follow Lenny on Twitter at @lennymcallister, join his Facebook page and spread the word about Lenny for Congress (www.LennyForCongress.com)

 

Lenny McAllister for Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District: #OneBigTeam