|Date||January 27, 2010|
|Time||9:00 p.m. EST|
|Duration||1 hour, 9 minutes|
|Venue||House Chamber, United States Capitol|
|Type||State of the Union Address|
The 2010 State of the Union Address was given by the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, on Wednesday, January 27, 2010, at 9 p.m. EST, in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives to the 111th United States Congress. It was Obama's first State of the Union Address and his second speech to a joint session of the United States Congress. Presiding over this joint session was the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States, in his capacity as President of the Senate.
The theme for President Obama's speech was “Rescue, Rebuild, Restore – a New Foundation for Prosperity”. Among the topics that Obama covered in his speech were proposals for job creation and federal deficit reduction.
Newly inaugurated Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell delivered the Republican response following the speech from the floor of the House of Delegates at the Virginia State Capitol in front of over 300 people.
The following items were mentioned by the President as potential policy changes, legislative initiatives, or goals coming out of the address:
During the address, Obama condemned the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, stating, "Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections." Justice Samuel Alito was seen frowning and mouthing the words "not true" when Obama criticized the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Roberts later commented on the subject at the University of Alabama, saying, "The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court – according to the requirements of protocol – has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling."
Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan was chosen as the designated survivor and did not attend the address, in order to keep a presidential line of succession should a catastrophic event have wiped out the administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also out of the country at the time of the address for a conference in London regarding the country of Yemen and the upsurge in terrorist activity in that country.
The television networks elected to broadcast a response to the State of the Union Address by Bob McDonnell who had been sworn in as the Governor of Virginia 11 days before. McDonnell sought to replicate the trappings State of the Union Address by giving a speech in the chamber of the Virginia House of Delegates with the audience filled with his supporters and included shots of McDonnell entering the chamber while shaking hands as he walking down the aisle. He also selected ten guests to stand behind him as he delivered the speech, including a member of the armed forces wearing his uniform that critics alleged to be a violation of military regulations. In addition, the use of House chamber for McDonnell's speech did not comply with House Rule 82. In his prepared text, McDonnell stated, "Today, the federal government is simply trying to do too much."
Originally, the White House was considering two dates for the State of the Union Address: January 26 and February 2. Were the latter date selected, ABC would have then preempted the already scheduled premiere of the sixth and final season of the TV series Lost, sabotaging months of promotion for "The Final Season" and forcing some awkward rescheduling of the season, which had no leeway for interruptions. This prompted an online protest among fans and the story was picked up by dozens of media outlets. On January 8, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced "I don't foresee a scenario in which millions of people who hope to finally get some conclusion with Lost are preempted by the president", to which the show's co-creator Damon Lindelof responded via his Twitter account with "OBAMA BACKED DOWN!!!! Groundhog Day is OURS!!!!!!! (God Bless America)".
Ben East of the United Arab Emirates The National newspaper summed up the story with "confirmation of just how important [Lost] is came with an almost unbelievable communiqué from the White House last week … That's right. Obama might have had vital information to impart upon the American people about health care, the war in Afghanistan, the financial crisis—things that, you know, might affect real lives. But the most important thing was that his address didn't clash with a series in which a polar bear appears on a tropical island. After extensive lobbying by the ABC network, the White House surrendered."
President Barack Obama announced in next year's State of the Union address that he wants to focus extensively on cutting the federal deficit in 2010 – and downplayed other new domestic spending beyond jobs programs, according to top aides involved in the planning.
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