State of the Union

President Barack Obama’s speech couple of days ago on the State of the Union was a pleasure to watch.

Disclosure: I do not support some of his policies, especially his moving away from the “friend of India” position established by the previous administration of George W Bush.

I thought that everyone around the world should watch the U.S. President’s State of the Union Address delivered at the beginning of each fiscal year, since it reveals so much about the way in which government business is conducted in the U.S. and the foreign policy positions of the U.S. Government.

What is different with President Obama is his oratorical skills. He speaks with clinical precision, with hardly much of an emotion, but with lots of conviction. He is a great communicator, and appeals to a wide spectrum of people easily.

It surprised me a lot when I was watching the video on his website. He did not, not even for once, refer to the booklet in front of him which contained his speech. Nor was he aided by a teleprompter device with running words from his speech. He never had an inch of hesitation, and his speech was almost like an extempore delivery. But obviously, great preparation has gone into the speech as always, and the extensive use of slides to demonstrate key points of his speech was impressive. President Obama did not even gesticulate towards the slides, he was absolutely focused on making a solid impression on the very important people assembled at Capitol Hill and on the American people listening to him live.

And, I think he achieved his goal. He drove home the key points pending before the Congress and the absolute necessity to move ahead in cooperation, rather than fight on issues between the two Parties as has been happening increasingly in Washington. I do not think his appeal towards collaborative approach to solving the nation’s huge problems would have much of an impact on the Republican Party or its Senators. But I think it would have had a good positive impact on the American people.

All in all, it was a solid State of the Union speech, well prepared and extremely well delivered by a superbly knowledgeable President who appeared to be in total control. This sounds good for America, but it is anybody’s guess whether Americans would re-elect him as President.

Americans like strong, good and persuasive communicators in all spheres of life, and do not like ambiguity. The President made his business case for his agenda for government in 2012 very persuasively and firmly.

I was not amused by the fact that he did not mention India even once, though he referred to China atleast twice, and to Israel, Burma, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let us see if he can carry through on his agenda and his commitments to the American people. Let us see if the American Corporations would bring back more jobs to the U.S.


Vijay Srinivasan
26th January 2012


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