Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union from Penn Station

Another snowstorm has altered this winter-weary writer's travel plans, but the free wifi at Amtrak's passenger lounge here at Penn Station allows some quick reflection on last night's State of the Union speech.

Speaking from a purely LGBT perspective, President Obama had his own "mission accomplished" moment with his proclamation gays and lesbians will begin to serve openly in the armed forces this year. Anyone who actually thinks the commander-in-chief will go out on a limb for marriage equality and other LGBT-specific issues ahead of a presidential election year is simply naive and/or stupid. Obama did, however, throw a bone to the GayTM that largely continues to enthusiastically back him.

The State of the Union is a political spectacle that occurs every January on Capitol Hill, but Obama delivered his speech under the backdrop of the aftermath of the Tucson massacre, a sluggish economic recovery, high unemployment rates and millions of Americans who continue to struggle to stay in their homes. The commander-in-chief arguably struck a chord with moderate voters who actually expect their elected officials to get something done. The primary season is a little more than a year away...