January 25th, 2011
07:58 PM ET

Evening Buzz: State of the Union & State of Unity?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/25/c1main.obama.promises.02.gi.jpg caption="Pres. Obama gives the State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET tonight." width=300 height=169]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight during the State of the Union address Pres. Obama will rally lawmakers on Capitol Hill to help improve the U.S. economy.

"At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It's whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded," the President is expected to say according to prepared remarks released from the White House.

Pres. Obama will strike a positive tone about conditions on Wall Street and Main Street.

"We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again," Mr. Obama will say the released excerpts show.

Don't miss the State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET on CNN, followed by the GOP and Tea Party Express responses.

Republicans are calling on Pres. Obama to cut more spending to reduce the federal deficit.

"We look forward to tonight's State of the Union, but if history is our guide, most Republicans will probably agree... with 80 percent of what the President says," said Rep. Jeb Hernsaling, R-Texas, during a news conference on Capitol Hill this afternoon.

Despite the partisan issues, there will be a show of unity tonight. More than two dozen legislators will break from the traditional seating along party lines. Instead some Republicans and Democrats will sit next to each other.

The move comes after the shootings in Tuscon, Arizona that killed six people and wounded several others, including Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. In a symbolic move, the Arizona delegation will sit together but leave her seat empty.

Rep. Giffords intern Daniel Hernandez who rushed to help her after she was shot, and Dr. Peter Rhee, the trauma chief at University Medical Center where Giffords was treated will be among the special guests sitting with First Lady Michelle Obama.

During the GOP response, we've learned Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, will also talk about the Tucson tragedy.

"President Obama just addressed a Congressional chamber filled with many new faces. One face we did not see tonight was that of our friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. We all miss Gabby and her cheerful spirit; and we are praying for her return to the House Chamber," Rep. Ryan's released excerpts show.

Ryan will also tackle the fiscal challenges ahead.

"Our nation is approaching a tipping point. We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and

unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century."

Tea Party supporter Rep. Michele Bachmann is expected to take aim at Pres. Obama's fiscal moves during her response.

"After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks that the President signed, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don't have. But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt at President Obama's direction; unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country," Rep. Bachmann will say according to her prepared remarks.

As you watch the speeches let us know what you think of the messages. Share your thoughts below. And, we'll see you at 11 p.m. ET for complete analysis and an update on Rep. Giffords condition.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Mark Ettlin

    I'm Hoping someone will take a closer look at Ms. Bachman's deficet Chart. Am I the only one that noticed 2009 wasn't represented; That non of Clinton presidency was represented or the huge fact that were in two wars fighting for the life of the world to be free from terrist.
    Please keep them honest Mr. Cooper.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  2. Casey

    It is important to be positive throughout this time of growth. Many businesses and organizations are working their way toward a hiring increase and that is something for many Americans to look forward too.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  3. Chris S.


    I see your point, but dont agree with it.

    That is the easy way out, when we have aspiring US Citizebn students that would love to attend MIT and have that job that someone from India would have under your plan. Why wouldnt we encourage and assist US students to achieve the doctorate you referenced? If there is no opportunity or interested persons to get an MIT doctorate (highly unlikely) then by all means let us actively recruit foreign students with skill sets US citizens DONT currently possess or dont want to possess. When are we going to encourage this same innovation from US students and do everything possible to support their educational needs not wit for an Indian to come here to excel and take an opportunity from an American student that was not supported. many foreign students are subsidized by their governments to attain advanced degrees, here we tell someone to get a loan. Unreal

    January 26, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  4. Vincent

    Here’s my dilemma with the republican response.
    Example: “My” House is the U.S. Government – The Gatekeeper is the Congress/House/President
    You, my child (John Q. Public) grow up under “my” domical. I am parent and gatekeeper. My child insists on support, education, independence, opportunity, security, freedom of choice, jobs, smaller governance, health and insurance benefits.
    However my child insists on total independence, total choice, less governance, more options, and a lifetime of financial and physical security that they feel as a member of my house they are entitled too.
    Conflict: In any house, an organization, any corporation, ect. there are laws, rules and borders. We elect those that represent our views and then tar and feather them when the results do not meet our interest. We (child) take no responsibility for yesterdays errors and at the same time have our hands out to ask what have you done for me lately? The rich don’t want to be taxed and the former middle income has been added to the ranks of the financially poor. This is classical class structure; haves and have nots.
    Why then do we have a problem with being on a world standard versus being world leaders? How is it we ask all these “privileges” of the parent and expect less controls and even fewer responsibilities for the results? We have raised a generation of spoiled babies… Malcom X made an extremely controversial statement during one of this countries darkest hours that appears to hold merit today’ “The chickens have come home to roost”. It appears the chickens have still not left home.

    January 26, 2011 at 3:10 am |

    I'm a Black woman who is currently Democrat but I have to say I like what the Tea Party is saying. We have to cut spending. I don't believe that the President nor the Democratic party is focused on the "real" problems of America. Eventually the money is going to run out...and no one is going to benefit from a "broke" USA. Government can only produce a certain # of jobs, a certain # of programs, and save a certain # of people. We need to think beyond government.

    January 26, 2011 at 2:36 am |
  6. Pam Arden

    I found it unbelievable that there were two Republican responses to the State of the Union Address. This was a mistake. Will there be a desire to have two responses to anything the Congress works on in the future?

    January 26, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  7. wisewolf

    Kudos to Bachman for using graphs to illustrate a point.

    Now here are key messages reinforced by the 2 republican responses today....

    Reduced government = Less jobs, less services, less public transportation
    Tax cuts for wealthy = Higher deficits, reduced investment in innovations
    Repeal healthcare = Less coverage, higher healthcare costs
    Less investment in R&D = Jobs move to countries that make the investment

    All of this ensures what? A select few wealthy people keep a few more dollars.

    Here's what I do not understand....
    Republican voters = People most impacted by this craziness

    January 26, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  8. linda

    The presidents speech inspired and gave a more unified vision – not only for those in the US but also an important vision for other countries where leadership flounders as we face unprecedented global challenges – He's the right man for the job at the right time. Lucky America to have such a Statesman.

    The tea party – flirting with fascism.. it can only go one way – downhill..shame on the GOP for inflating the lunatic fringe.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  9. Jerry Dicherson

    Anderson Obama keeps saying that there is a growth but how about the people that can,t get any more unemployment they don,t even count them as not working so that is miss leading do you know how many people are going hungry and homeless and a lot of these are kids food is going higher and higher in cost people on fixed income half the time cant even eat go out and talk to people and see

    January 26, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  10. Lucy Otero

    I listened to the President's State of the Union Speech and he continued to emphasize teamwork among all in Congress regardless of party affiliation. I enjoyed the piece about educating our Children and the need to stay competitive in World.

    I also listened to both Congressman Ryan and Congresswoman Bachmann and came away sad when Ms. Bachmann was speaking and doing her power point presentation, honestly I think she missed the part about teamwork and unity.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  11. bren

    The President,s speech was promising and if only the Senate and the House will work together instead of against one another like the last two years with the Republicans always saying NO all the time..we just might get this country out of the Bush/Cheney mess we,ve lived thru for the last ten years. As for Ryan and Bauchmann it seem to me that there was a lack of substance and that they were reading a skit instead of speaking to the American people and in the end simply a war of words for headlines.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  12. Kunbi

    I want to thank Mr. Gergen for his service to our nation. I appreciate his constant effort to be fair. I love the exchanges between him and Mr. Fleischer. It's time we start discussing the real issues without sugar coating things.

    Secondly, has anyone taken a survey to see how many rich people are in favor of not getting a tax cut? I bet Oprah, Bill Gates and Buffet will not mind. They give naturally!

    January 26, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  13. frank-Texas

    EXCELLENT SPEECH!! Put his cards onthe table. Let us know of the hard work ahead and it's up to everyone. To move foward we will sacrifice. Sacrifice less now or even more later.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  14. valerie

    The young need jobs, the middle aged need jobs, recent grads need jobs. We all need jobs. Only government has jobs.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  15. L. Gillies

    Please simplify the tax code. Single tax payers should not have to pay higher taxes because they are single. An individual or couple with the same income should pay the same amount of tax.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  16. Susan

    I appreciate David Gergern's reporting! He is fair, accurate and unbiased. I'd watch your show more if he was speaking. A lot of the others don't have his authenticity.

    Thanks David.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  17. Brandon

    I'm 21, unemployed, living at my dads, with a 2 year old son and wife. Now i have no degree in economics nor do i have any idea about budgets so i'm not sure about that part of the speech but President Obama's speech gave me and everyone else in my posistion HOPE and thats whats lacking in this country. And for the republican response, they must really think we're stupid for them to pull out charts colored in crayon and give me a brief history lesson on WWII Where Obama was saying to me, got to school, feed your mind, and go on to the future with hope and high expectations. I'm sorry i'm just angry at the response I've heard. Obama gave hope, without hope you cannot go on in life. Thank you President Obama for having faith in us! You got my vote in 2012.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  18. Brad, New Mexico

    Yet another excellent speech by the president but, as the panel stated we will remember this for about two days and Washington will be back to normal. These same issues on spending; the Government is to big/small, Healthcare, Social Security, and Medicare have all been discussed and debated over the past 50 years. Yet Washington in all its wisdom has virtually done nothing. I am sorry to be pessimistic but nothing will change in the next two years. It is the political structure that is the problem. The thinking of Far Right and Far Left needs to be a thing of the past. Its supposed to be a government for the people but it is not.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  19. rsg

    Ari Fleischer is a poor addition to the panel. He talks over other people. He does not provide thoughtful answers to questions. Rather he appears to blindly preach the party line, even when it makes no sense. I am a registered Republican but I do not approve of his unthinking party line. I will not tune in to listen to people like him. I hope that you can find a more thoughtful, intelligent panelist.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  20. Bryant

    I'm watching the show live and Bush's guy didn't let David Gergen finish his point. Investing in education is a reasonable idea considering the fact that in 2010 the unemployment rate for people without a college education was over 10% vs 5% for those with a college degree.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  21. David

    I am a republican, a veteran, and a small business owner struggling through this economy.
    Democrats and Republicans......WHO CARES! The President of the United States of America said what needed to be said tonight. I didn't vote for him, and haven't agreed with alot of his policies. We need to stop and listen to his message, because he hit the nail on the head tonight. We must all look forward together to save this great nation.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  22. Virginia Mann

    I watched the State of the Union speech, the Republican and Tea Party responses and am currently watching your follow up commentary. It's good and is addressing some excellent points, but why isn't any one addressing the take over of America by the corporations and lobbyists, or remembering Ike's 1961's warning about the horrors of the takeover by our government by,or is, the Industrial Military complex? Or gun control? Or a bigger response to America as a huge War Machine. Yes, there was a brief reference to cutting back Pentagon expenses,but you guys could make a bigger call on these issues,or at least, present some statistics, some discussion. What about questioning the veracity of assorted assertions? Thank you.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  23. Ky

    You definitely haven't studied history of scientist in this country. Most of them are immigrants. When next you have the time, try to google the names of most leading scientists and inventors in our great country. Most of them were immigrants. Even Einstein wasn't born here. Put differently, do you know the ratio of our kids versus those from the rest of the world that seek higher degrees in engineering and medicine in top rated universities? When you're able to answer that question then you'll understand the point Obama was trying to drive home. Being movie stars either on the big screen or on reality tv shows is not a placement for engineers and scientist.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  24. DAVID

    Great speech. Not specific. If it was, half the room would cheer while the other sat on their hands... as usual. Very inspirational moving forward.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  25. ernestine

    There are jobs out there but the wealthy republicans like when unemployment is up. As soon as a republican wins the presidency, then you will see the jobs flow. What ever happened to the stimulus packages that was sent to the corporations to boost the economy? The republicans is still plying the blame game.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  26. lynn

    That tracking by dialing the device during a speech is odd. It's hard to read too much into the results of people dialing up and down on a dial during any political speech – right, left or center.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  27. Bill

    Let's Just Hope that the Ideas And Promises are Followed Through.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  28. Karen

    When Bush was The President he was out numbered by the Dems. The government is nothing without the people they serve. It will be interesting to see this country in 2 yrs whose left standing including Obama!
    Thank you Anderson
    Karen -Love the Show

    January 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  29. Tanya Travis

    I especially liked Pres. Obama's comment on stripping down the weight of the plane by taking out the engine. Great metaphor for us to understand the truth that shrinking government is shrinking services, services we require as a foundation for private enterprise to thrive – interstate, education, clean safe energy...

    January 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  30. Jimmy Collins

    My father in law found out that the pentagon has never in it's history, gone through an independent audit. I would be willing to bet that that we could find a couple hundred million maybe, in wasteful spending. Maybe something to look into.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  31. Michael Cassady

    Good speeches from all parties, however I keep hearing the same things. The president reaching out to work in a bipartisan manner and the Republicans bickering about how poor of a job Obama is doing. I keep hearing from both sides that they have the plan that will make things better but neither side gives any details. Politicians are just blaming each other and doing nothing. I agree we are in a mess and we have different beliefs, but unless we work together we will stay in this mess. I would hope that our politicians can stop worrying about their reelection and do what is best for AMERICA. Stop being politicians, be AMERICANS.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  32. Ky

    @Chris S.
    It's obvious you didn't understand President Obama's argument about retaining foreign scholars. In a very simple term, imagine someone from India coming to MIT to study electronic engineering at a doctorate level (Many do) and is being forced back to work in India or other countries that value their skills. How does that help America as opposed to allowing that person to stay and work in america thereby contributing to technological developement of our great country? Put differently, what does it profit you as a fisherman, to teach an apprentice fisherman and set him back home when you don't have enough fishermen 'professionals' to work for you? Do you see the point now?

    January 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  33. truth

    Obama talked about the immigration reform there illegal, how are you going to give AMericans jobs if you give them all the illgals our jobs like what is happening now the fed gov is letting all these companies go to Mexico and giving them awards to boot. Nafta should be abolished. sounds like hypocracy. There illegals if we had real border security we would have terrosit or have to be pat down. the terrosit do not swim here they are let in by a weal immigration system. Because the fed gov letting them all in. The republcians all need to get out of the the medical insurance companies pockets, they sound like a commerical, You know what true terrosim is the lobbying going on in DC. Until American bans lobbying we will never get our gov back

    January 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  34. Shandahb

    I AM sooo proud to call Barak Obama my President. He touched on everything that matters to me and my family. I pray that the Rep. won't continue with the negative attitude after this speech. Everyone should remember that we are all american and all in this together.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  35. ernestine

    The pesident speech was on target. He spoke to the people who really want to make a difference. He asked for help from everyone to make this country competitive and share new ideas. The only way is to leave the past in the past and move forward. Bickering about something and doing something is two different things.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  36. rhonda

    Arie F. was allowed to overtalk D. Gergen, to the detriment of the conversation. Couldn't hear either one of them. And clearly, AF was out of line. Even after he asked Gergen a question, he interrupted the answer. How rude.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  37. rick

    Obama is more worried about educating illegals then finding jobs for americans.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  38. RJGalban

    Good Evening everyone. My Name Is Roxanna I'm one those Americans that has lost my job, home and health care. I watched the State of the Union Address and was very happy with what the President had to say. What I don't understand is how the GOP and Tea Party want to turn the table and place blame on the President for the problem that plague our country. The blame game is counter productive and has no place in the land of change. The President has tried to work on the clean up what was left from the past 8 years of Wow! I can't remember who was in office then. So let's join as one and place America back where it needs to be, let's work on what is truly important the future of the country. Remember this should be about the people all the people.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  39. Annie Kate

    Perhaps with all the fuzzieness on basic American history we need a refresher course for our elected officials. Maybe an American History book for dummies. Do us all a lot of good.

    I daresay the confusion over John Quincy Adams was distinguishing his role from that of his father, 2nd President of the US, John Adams. He was indeed a signer of the the Declaration of Independence and a member of the Continental Congress. He did not own slaves being from New England but Washington and Jefferson did and they freed them in their wills.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  40. rhonda

    He said he was going to veto any legislation which contains earmarks.

    Why aren't you giving this the attention this astounding promise deserves? I am not going to "FORGET he said that in 2 weeks." If people forget that, perhaps it's because you are not discussing it sufficiently.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  41. Salem, Sharjah: UAE

    I'm not an American but i felt optimistic by Obama's speech. He gave a speech that made me and hopefully most Americans feel that his second term in office will have better results. Despite not keeping some promises from his first SOTU speech, I think now that both parties are more united than 2 years ago we will see some results. Only time will tell.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  42. mike

    why no comments on
    1. paraphrasing the Kennedy inaugural address? Didn't kennedy make a similar statement "we wouldn't trade places with anyone else in the world" ?

    2. why beat up on the banks, oil companies, and immigrants? Each played, and continues to play, a very important role in america and will for some time to come. Yes, I know, it is politically correct to trash each of these groups but in reality they should be encouraged to adapt- you need immigrants to grow, you need banks to lend money and you need oil to survive. Would it not be better for a leader to embrace and support the good of each, and perhaps help eliminate some of the "fighting" and dissent within congress he spent so much time talking about?

    3. putting in a wireless network for 98% of americans isn't exactly the moon-shot, but it is something. I know, a different time, but how about a Mars shot- You want jobs, innovation, real growth, go for something to grab the imagination.

    4. What was good? no mortgage deals, no bankruptcy deals, moving money from one area to another rather than spend more, all good stuff but no imagination nothing to remember. Nothing that said this is how we get back on top.

    5. overall a good job, we need more and we need Obama to succeed in his job, he needs to reach deeper and grab on to something that can grab our support.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  43. Jen

    Wow David Gergen made Ari Fleischer look like a real jerk. Fleischer doesn't want to increase pay for teachers?? He just showed his lack of compassion and that sums it up for the whole Republican/Tea Party.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  44. Alexandra Karova

    Obama is awesome & everyone gave him a standing ovation for his reference to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" except the men in military uniforms, because they are worried some one will tell about them not exactly being "straight" when their wives aren't around! That's the only group it protected, were homophobic hypocrites!

    January 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  45. Tommy

    Anderson,here is the perfect example of what the American people are sick and tired of the Republicans want to blame the President and the Democrats but when asked a question we can not get a straight answer as David asked Ari a simple question. My question to you Anderson WHY do they continue to do this to us the American people.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
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