Midwest Voices

Obama’s State of the Union speech was OK, but …

Updated: 2014-02-06T00:45:25Z

By Aimee Patton

Special to The Star

I’m a Democrat, so I was psyched up for a great speech by President Barack Obama. With a 43 percent approval rating, Obama needed a big night. Did he have it? Kind of …

There were moments of greatness — the shout-out to teachers in the beginning, the memorable quote about women in the middle and ending with the wounded veteran. Those were amazing moments.

Here’s the problem. Every State of the Union has amazing moments. If a State of the Union doesn’t have a few of these gems like “I believe that when women succeed, America succeeds,” then all Presidential speech writers should be fired. Somebody print that on a bumper sticker stat!

The problem is I wanted more. I wanted President Obama to spend more time on the disastrous government shutdown last year. What happens when we are faced with raising the debt ceiling again? Americans are pissed off at politicians right now on both sides. I wanted to hear more about how we can prevent another government shutdown. What happened to gun control and mental health reform?

I heard nothing, but crickets on these issues.

There were so many recycled talking points…immigration reform and clean energy initiatives. Yawn. Same issues different year and nothing new.

I’m just going to be blunt – we are still talking about equal pay for equal work? This issue is more than 30 years old. It doesn’t belong in a State of the Union Speech in 2014. It’s shocking and embarrassing that we are still talking about this and that the issue still exists.

The really great part of the President’s speech was about raising the minimum wage. It’s time America and President Obama made that perfectly clear. I will give him kudos for this part. The rest of it was a slow-clap kind of night. Now I’ve got to get online and find somewhere where I can buy that bumper sticker!

Aimee Patton is a Kansas City Star Midwest Voices contributor.

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