University of Houston Political Science Professor Brandon Rottinghaus says in our era of social media, big presidential addresses tend to have an echo effect. People may not watch the speech live like they used to, but they can discuss it later on Twitter and internet message boards.
And what will Americans be talking about? Rottinghaus says as in past addresses, the economy will be one of the president’s big topics, with a particular focus on the middle class.
“Talking specifically about tax relief, talking about jobs, talking about ways to try to improve the lives of individuals who are thought to be in the middle in this sort of economic recovery, but who aren’t necessarily making sort of as much progress.”
But Rice University Professor Paul Brace says as President Obama promotes economic initiatives he also has to think about deficit reduction.
“Any new expenditures I think will have to be conditioned upon some idea of where savings can be made or where new revenues can be obtained.”
Brace says any talk of job creation is tricky because the U.S. has lost a lot of its traditional manufacturing base. And while the president may talk about education and job retraining, that’s a long term prospect in an economic environment where a lot of people are still out of work.