01/23/07 — Still listening? President will outline agenda, and we should tune in

View Archive

Still listening? President will outline agenda, and we should tune in

Those involved with the State of the Union address were out talking it up this morning — new proposals, a domestic focus and a little bit about President Bush’s decision to put more troops in Iraq.

It is not unusual for the troops to be out drumming up support before such a speech. That is what they do.

But many of the president’s critics are asking if many Americans will be listening tonight. A recent poll suggested that a large majority of Americans want the new Congress to direct the policy-making and for the president to take a secondary role.

Take that with a grain of salt. Polls are like statistics — their message can be influenced not only by the questions asked, but by the tallying afterward.

And maybe the country does want to hear something from the Congress and a little less from the commander in chief — at least right now.

But that doesn’t mean that tonight’s speech should be dismissed as insignificant.

The president will outline his goals for the next year and talk about some of the issues he thinks this nation needs to care about. And we should listen.

After that, there will be time for Congress to answer — and we should listen to that, too.

Then, we can decide who has the best plan — and watch to see if anybody gets anything done.

That knowledge is a critical first step in planning the next steps for this nation — and determining who we want to take us there. Tonight’s speech sets that stage.

Published in Editorials on January 23, 2007 10:44 AM