Christine Hosein - New York, America
US President Barack Obama, in his yearly, State of the Union speech last night, called for greater innovation by the American companies, competitive educational systems that meet the needs and challenges of the future.
Speaking from congress, in the nation’s capital, with democrat and republican representatives seated next to each, in a symbolic gesture of unity. His narrative was one that followed previous speeches during his presidential campaign two years ago.
His tone, was uplifting and inspirational and he urged his colleagues in congress to support legislation and programs that support better teachers in schools. He also talked about the need for educational reform so that America can face and meet the challenge of rise of global tigers; India and China.
President Obama was keen to highlight the need for America to form partnerships both at home, and, regionally, with upcoming visits by him to Chile and Brazil to increase trade.
He talked about America’s place in the world and the might of its innovative companies such as Google and Facebook. He uses the language of metaphors to illustrate the big accomplishments of "small" companies. In the story of the rescue of the Chilean miners, he praised the businessman and manufacturer of "Plan B", who orchestrated the miraculous rescue. He said: “We can accomplish big things.”
The president was emphasising the need to kick start the engines of open markets with investments in new industries. He said: “This is our Sputnik moment,” referencing America’s ability to come back with landing on the moon following the Soviet Union making advances in the space race between the two superpowers of the 1960s.
He continued: “We need to invest in biomedical research, information technology, and clean energy.” This state of the union address was both inspirational and non-partisan. It addressed the need for America to think outside the box to remain the world's sole superpower.
* Washington Post-owned Slate, a leading US political comment website, had this to say: "For a president who will be judged on his ability to lower the unemployment rate, the hope is that business will hear the message in this speech and spend some of the cash that they've been accumulating knowing that the environment has improved."
It added: "As another sign of the president's increasingly warm feeling about American business, he included none of the swipes at Wall Street or banks that were in the last State of the Union or his speech to Congress shortly after he took office."