Fun fact of the day: Barack Obama has never seen a mirror he didn’t love
Billed as a State of the Union address, President Obama instead delivered his own “I Have a Dream” speech Tuesday.
With two years of governance ahead, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s rhetorical legacy in his mind this week, the president spoke with as much admiration for his own vision as the grit of the American people he celebrated.
Barack Obama was the “I” and “my” in a union he described as stronger, wiser and “freer.” His references to the traditional “we,” “us” and “our” were present, but this speech was a striking and full-throated appeal to history while the clock was still ticking. It’s not uncommon for second-term presidents to begin to frame their legacies while they have the bully pulpit, but it’s more common to see it in the waning months of the eighth year than at the outset of the seventh. […]
“I have no more campaigns to run,” he said, in a passage meant to explain why his agenda going forward is not defined by personal political considerations. “I know, because I won both of them!” he added, his chin jutting forward.
With his 75 references to “I,” “me” and “my,” it was as if Obama delivered a third inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2015, rather than the now-ritualized and constitutionally required report to Congress about how things are going.