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Obama must live up to spoken promises

President Obama has been in office for a year now, and accordingly graced our television screens last week to give the country his first State of the Union address.

The address was, as could be expected, a well-written, intellectual speech, delivered by a President who has deservedly retained his title as the best orator of our time. The talk was certainly meant to re-energize his base, his grassroots network of young, liberal Democrats.

The last year has been rife with criticism of Obama not actually accomplishing his campaign promises — not just from Republicans and pundits, but from the egregiously liberal media and even Saturday Night Live. Guantanamo Bay is still open, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has not been repealed, large numbers of troops are still in Iraq, and the healthcare bill continues to stagnate in Congress.

This speech needed to discuss those policy issues, including the reasons the policies may not have moved forward as quickly as we may have hoped. He was able to critically discuss the actions and behavior of Congress, of the Supreme Court, and even of his own involvement in pushing policy into action.
While we understand that Obama is attempting to govern a legislative branch that has mastered the filibuster, in a difficult economic climate (and a literally ever-more frighteningly changing climate), we continue to hold him to the ideals he came in with. His speech brought back the optimism, the hope, but we will continue to push him for actual change.

In the end, the speech was just talk. As inspiring as Obama’s words can be, as President he must do more.

This was just another evening, just another speech, just another State of the Union that has come and gone. And possibly most important to America, it didn’t conflict with the season premiere of Lost. That would have been a big deal.