Declarations of Impotence

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

(Page 6 of 7)

CREDIT: CorbisCREDIT: CorbisDWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, 1957

Funny, we've never been so prosperous!

After more than a century and a half of constant expansion, [the economy] is still rich in a wide variety of natural resources. It is first among nations in its people's mastery of industrial skills. It is productive beyond our own needs of many foodstuffs and industrial products. It is rewarding to all our citizens in opportunity to earn and to advance in self-realization and in self-expression. It is fortunate in its wealth of educational and cultural and religious centers. It is vigorously dynamic in the limitless initiative and willingness to venture that characterize free enterprise. It is productive of a widely shared prosperity.

Our economy is strong, expanding, and fundamentally sound.

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

This [inflation] danger requires a firm resolution that the Federal Government shall utilize only a prudent share of the Nation's resources, that it shall live within its means, carefully measuring against need alternative proposals for expenditures.

Retrospective laff lines:

I believe the time has come to conduct a broad national inquiry into the nature, performance and adequacy of our financial system, both in terms of its direct service to the whole economy and in terms of its function as the mechanism through which monetary and credit policy takes effect.

WTF?

Business in its pricing policies should avoid unnecessary price increases especially at a time like the present when demand in so many areas presses hard on short supplies. A reasonable profit is essential to the new investments that provide more jobs in an expanding economy. But business leaders must, in the national interest, studiously avoid those price rises that are possible only because of vital or unusual needs of the whole nation.

Big (failed) successful idea: Less a legislative proposal or specific doctrine; more of an instinct that the international tumult of 1956 would eventually lead, at long last, to a freer world:

In the world today, the surging and understandable tide of nationalism is marked by widespread revulsion and revolt against tyranny, injustice, inequality and poverty. As individuals, joined in a common hunger for freedom, men and women and even children pit their spirit against guns and tanks. On a larger scale, in an ever more persistent search for the self-respect of authentic sovereignty and the economic base on which national independence must rest, peoples sever old ties; seek new alliances; experiment--sometimes dangerously--in their struggle to satisfy these human aspirations.

Particularly, in the past year, this tide has changed the pattern of attitudes and thinking among millions. The changes already accomplished foreshadow a world transformed by the spirit of freedom. This is no faint and pious hope. The forces now at work in the minds and hearts of men will not be spent through many years. In the main, today's expressions of nationalism are, in spirit, echoes of our forefathers' struggle for independence.

This Republic cannot be aloof to these events heralding a new epoch in the affairs of mankind.

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  • 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.

    or

    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||

    Summary:
    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||

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