STATE OF THE UNION
CBS NEWS – State of the Union: "Act two" of Obama’s 2nd term
When the curtain rises on President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight, the White House wants it viewed as "Act Two" – a follow-up to the national goals and policy objectives of which he spoke 22 days earlier on the West Front of the Capitol.
"The president has always viewed the two speeches, the inaugural address and the State of The Union, as two acts in the same play," said press secretary Jay Carney yesterday.
Though Mr. Obama has given more speeches this year on his proposals to stem gun violence and overhaul immigration policy, the "core emphasis" of his speech tonight is the economy.
NBC NEWS – Obama’s last chance to go big
Here’s a reality about a second-term presidency: You have a narrow window — at the beginning of the term — to persuade Congress to do something big. For Ronald Reagan, it was tax reform (which he achieved); for Bill Clinton, it was education reform (which failed); and for George W. Bush, it was Social Security reform (which crashed and burned). And this is perhaps the best way to view President Obama’s State of the Union address at 9:00 pm ET tonight. It is essentially his last chance to lay the groundwork for domestic achievements. In his speech tonight, Obama is expected to push for second term agenda: comprehensive immigration reform, ways to curb gun violence, and his preferences to grow the economy and reduce the deficit. And it’s the issue of the economy where the president will spend a lion’s share of his time.
THE NEW YORK TIMES – Watching Obama for Signs of Change
On Tuesday night, the president will address the nation and Congress on the state of the union. But many will watch as well for signs of the state of Barack Obama.
Inside the White House and out, advisers and associates have noted subtle but palpable changes in Mr. Obama since his re-election. “He even carries himself a little bit differently,” said one confidant who, like others, asked not to be identified discussing the president. He is relaxed, more voluble and even more confident than usual, these people say, freer to drop profanities or dismiss others’ ideas — enough that even some supporters fear the potential for hubris.
POLITICO – 5 things to watch for in the State of the Union
President Barack Obama on Tuesday gets his second high-profile opportunity in less than a month to set the agenda for his second term.
The president views the speech as finishing a thought that began with the Inauguration, aides say, with a deeper focus on job creation and the economy but no shortage of attention to the controversial social issues that top his to-do list.
Here’s POLITICO’s list of five things to watch in the State of the Union:
SENATOR KAY HAGAN
FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER – Mother of Fort Bragg Green Beret killed in Afghanistan to attend Obama’s State of the Union speech
The mother of a Fort Bragg soldier who died in Afghanistan will attend today’s State of the Union address as a guest of Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina.
Terry Marquez of Aberdeen will watch from the gallery as President Obama addresses the nation at 9 p.m. She is the mother of Sgt. Justin Marquez, a soldier with 3rd Special Forces Group who died Oct. 6 in Wardak province.
The 25-year-old Green Beret was killed by small-arms fire, officials said. He was one of two soldiers killed during a foot patrol in the province’s Chak district.
According to Hagan’s office, Terry Marquez was invited to the State of the Union address after expressing interest in December, when Hagan honored her son on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
WFMY – McCrory Opposes State Run Health Exchange
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he does not think the state is ready to run health exchanges called for in the Affordable Care Act.
McCrory’s office issued a statement Tuesday morning saying the governor had reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of expanding Medicaid in North Carolina.
The state must tell federal officials by Friday if it will run the health exchanges to help those without insurance obtain coverage.
WRAL – McCrory backs bill to stop Medicaid expansion
Gov. Pat McCrory is backing a move by the legislature to block the state from expanding its Medicaid program or participating in the state health insurance exchanges created by the Federal Affordable Care Act. He announced his decision in a news release this morning.
McCrory has held back his thoughts on the issue during his first weeks in office, although he did express concern that the Medicaid portion of the bill could keep North Carolina from drawing down federal funding to improve a key computer system. That concern seems to have taken a less central role in deliberations as the bill has gained momentum in the legislative process.
NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
WRAL – Today @NCCapitol (Feb. 12): Health care, unemployment, and the Red Route
Good morning, and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Tuesday, Feb. 12, WRAL’s roundup of what you need to know about North Carolina state government this morning.
North Carolina Democratic Party