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I heard my first ever state of the union address this year. I am not a fan of speeches because they put me to sleep, but Obama’s SOTU address was not one of them.

As a broadcaster, I have seen firsthand how various moments captured during a big speech create distraction by diverting the discussion from the actual speech to what happened while the speech was delivered. Netizens overwhelming reaction to Biden’s uncontrolled camera moment was a déjà vu.

In Pakistan, such distracting moments include ministers sleeping in the house as a head of the state gives a speech.

Like most people, my most memorable moment of SOTU is Sergeant Cory Remsburg receiving a standing ovation, and rightly so.

Image: US Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg gives a thumbs up while receiving a standing ovation during the State of the Union.

My most startling moment was when the president made the boldest promise a president could ever make to Congress – to bypass it.

quote SOTU

Does the president feel that the government has become dysfunctional and he is entitled to take radical actions to change the current situation? Or does he feel that his programs are met with unfair opposition in Congress, especially with Republicans who have been demonstrating extraordinary firmness (remember that government shutdown)?

State Of Union

Maybe he believes that he (and his party) alone can bring the most needed change in America? Or maybe it means he has lost faith in the democratic process that has been the foundation of great American society.

The biggest question is: If the president keeps his promise, what will happen then?

Is he on his way to becoming a dictator in a democracy? His actions might lead him to face impeachment. Or he is going to change history by setting an unprecedented example of leadership.

Only time will tell.

Edited by Tayllor Lillestol


  1. Good job Hina. I especially liked where you wondered and assumed some possible effects which could occur with President Obama statement, in his willing to bypass congress serious issues linked to economy. I believe regarding his experience and his strong background Obama won’t be later consedered as a dictator, since he rightly warned “wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation…” Anyway good reflection.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post, Hina! Your final point on the reach of executive orders is very insightful. Executive orders are only supposed to be used as a last resort or for something the president is very passionate about, but even those uses are contentious. If President Obama attempts to use executive orders as much as he alluded to, the next year of American politics will be very interesting indeed.

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