Declarations of Impotence

7 forgettable State of the Union speeches by second-term presidents

(Page 4 of 7)


Funny, we've never been so prosperous!

We enter 1973 economically strong [...]

America continues to provide a better and more abundant life for more of its people than any other nation in the world.

So this time we're really gonna balance that budget!

If we were to continue to expand the Federal Government at the rate of the past several decades, it soon would consume us entirely. The time has come when we must make clear choices--choices between old programs that set worthy goals but failed to reach them and new programs that provide a better way to realize those goals; and choices, too, between competing programs--all of which may be desirable in themselves but only some of which we can afford with the finite resources at our command.

Retrospective laff lines:

At home, we have learned that by working together we can create prosperity without fanning inflation; we can restore order without weakening freedom.


In the field of foreign policy, we must remember that a strong America--an America whose word is believed and whose strength is respected--is essential to continued peace and understanding in the world. The peace with honor we have achieved in Vietnam has strengthened this basic American credibility.

Big (failed) idea: No real huge one; "a fresh approach to Government" probably comes closest.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't remember much of anything this president says. And these speeches are pointless most of the time, anyway.

    In earlier threads, I've proposed two speech options for Obama:

    That which is ours is ours again. It will never be taken from us again.

    I am O-Ba-Ma, chief. Also son of chief. Guardian of the holies, speaker of the holy words, leader of warriors. Many have died, but this is the last of the capitalist places. What is ours is ours again.


    Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

    America, you can't spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes. You fucked up. . .you trusted us. Hey, make the best of it! Maybe we can help.

    Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
  • Bill Dalasio||

    Personally, I'd be more impressed to see him deliver something akin to this

    Shit. I know shit's bad right now, with all that starving bullshit, and the dust storms, and we are running out of french fries and burrito coverings. But I got a solution...Now I understand everyone's shit's emotional right now. But I've got a 3 point plan that's going to fix EVERYTHING.
  • Pro Libertate||

    Obama's not that advanced, I fear.

  • ||

    Greatest of holies. Chiefs and sons of chiefs may speak the words, but the Evil One's tongue would surely turn to fire. I will begin. You shall finish.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If I'm ever president, I'll start one State of the Union (broadcast from my house in Tampa) with "E Plebnista."

  • T o n y||

    Point of definition, a president is not a lame duck until his successor has been elected.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This is absolutely correct. Obama is a lame fuck.

  • An0nB0t||

    who tend to strangle such ideas in the crib.

    I would pay good money to witness the remainder of Barry's grand ideas, from now until his dying day, strangled in the crib.

    And, since I do not presently have sufficient funds, the Koch brothers should dedicate a small fraction of their resources to hiring VFW bikers to follow Obama around and rev their bikes to ear-splitting levels each time he opens his mouth in public.

  • Johnimo||

    When will we have a politician to tell us the truth, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat, roll up you sleeves and get to work, for there is truly nothing I can do for you but get government out of the way." Oh, now I remember .... politicians using those phrases don't get elected until there's a dire emergency.

  • Brendan||

    chocolate rations are up
    we're winning the war with Eurasia, the country we've always been at war with

  • Brandon||

    I would be impressed if he would return to the tradition of delivering the SOTU by letter. Throw the USPS a bone.

  • Syd Henderson||

    Johnson and Truman weren't lame ducks. Johnson ran in 1968 and dropped out of the race after the New Hampshire primary. Harry Truman was exempt from the 22nd Amendment and was defeated in the New Hampshire primary by Estes Kefauver.

  • CE||

    And every year, every president has this obligatory phrase: "the state of our union is strong."

  • Not a Libertarian||

    There are serious commentators who propose that the Presdent may be in at least as strong a political position as he was at his first State of the Union address.

    I am not not so certain that the content of the address will be forgotten by March.

    Over/ Under of which of the President's proposals will have been enacted by summer recess?

  • Government Hack||

    Which serious commentators did you have in mind?

  • Renfred43||

    Sienna. I see what you mean... Edna`s c0mment is cool... on tuesday I got Smart ForTwo from earning $9836 this-last/5 weeks and a little over ten-k last-month. it's certainly the nicest-job I have ever had. I actually started 8-months ago and right away started making a nice at least $84, per-hour. I follow this website, http://www.FLY38.COM

  • دردشة عراقنا||

    Nicest chat and chat Iraqi entertaining Adject all over the world

  • دردشة بغدادية||

    Nicest chat and chat Iraqi entertaining Adject all over the world


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.