Share your pre-State of the Union thoughts

I’m writing an article for tomorrow’s editions in which Californians describe what they want to hear from President Obama in tomorrow night’s State of the Union address. I’ve interviewed a bunch of interesting people, but now I want to throw it open to all of you.

If you’d like to take part, e-mail me as soon as possible at jrichman@bayareanewsgroup.com with a sentence or two about what you’d like to hear tomorrow night; include your name, age, occupation, the city in which you reside and a phone number at which I can do a quick confirmation call.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    The State of the Union speech should be renamed “O’bummer, the shining light of wonderfulness, lists his wonderful accomplishments and tells you why he should be re-elected” speech.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    I don’t give a flyin mouse dropping what Californiacs wanna hear. I want to hear what the Prez plans to do for America, not this self-absorbed loony bin of fruits and nuts.

  • John W

    It’ll be hyper-political, as would be any SOTU speech in a presidential election year. Probably nothing new.

    What I’d like to hear him say is:

    My fellow Americans, tonight I propose two things. I ask Congress to enact the Simpson-Bowles plan or something similar by the end of March. I also propose a constitutional amendment to give the people the power to enact laws regulating campaign finance.

    Good night.

  • Common Tater

    We need multiple repeats of Joe Wilson’s comments during the SOTU:

    “YOU LIE!”

  • For Liberty


    Californians need the insurance that he will take care of us. We would like to have the assurance that he will enact the power of the executive office to protect us here and abroad from all terrorism, protection from global climate change, the protection of having sufficient medical coverage, sufficient alternative energy, employment, housing, sufficient food to eat and a retirement. We need to be assured that all these things will be equally provided to all. We need to know that we can be assured the security of these things, before we exchange them for our liberty.

  • John W

    Re: #5

    “…before we exchange them for our liberty.”

    Isn’t it possible that “liberty” and some governmental concern for the items you mentioned are not mutually exclusive? That it’s not a zero sum game? That protecting us from existential threats may actually contribute to liberty rather than take away from it? If climate change is real and we can do something about it, do we not owe future generations life, as in “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” For what is one of these without the other? Is all pursuit of social security (lower case) incompatible with the concept of liberty?

  • For Liberty


    No. I would argue that we have less freedoms today than generations in the past and worry that this trend will continue for the future generation/s. The loss of our liberties do not happen all at once and over night, but rather a little here and a little there. Though there are always good intentions and reasoning behind these changes, what actually happens in the end, is a loss of some of our liberties that we had once possessed. For example, there may be good solid intentions to save and conserve water by forcing Americans to place low flush toilets (1.6 gallons) inside their homes and businesses, it is still a loss of liberty. The same goes with light bulbs. These rules and regulations have other negative effects, when the bulbs are being manufactured in China, when they could have saved a few jobs here in our own country.

    And yet, last night we heard the same empty campaign promises from Obama that we are hearing from the Republicans. It’s the same old rhetoric that in the end still turn into bigger government and more regulations, disrespecting rights of the individual by stripping away his or her liberties here and there, and destroying the free market. I think it’s been said before that government is the problem, not the solution. Our government needs to stop it’s enormous growth and spending, or we will all suffer, which will include a loss of our liberty. Again, these measures to spend and grow government are all attached with good humanitarian intentions, that in the end create dependency and a loss of our liberty. It (our government) was never intended, nor is it capable of taking care of us from cradle to grave.

  • Publius

    Classic hypocrisy- With loud applause he sternly lectures; Bailouts are bad! Those evil banks and corperate fat cats will never get bailed out again!

    Later in the speach, to another standing ovation he proudly announces; Bail outs are good!Obama saved the auto industry! GMC is #1 again!!!!!

    Bash and praise. Consistently inconsistent. A political animal with no leadership skills. A great orator who talks about nothing.

  • Elwood

    What Publius said!

  • John W

    Re: @7

    For Liberty,

    As a leading edge Baby Boomer, my lifetime spans more than a quarter of the history of the republic. Yikes! Perhaps, on the issue of liberty, I’m like that proverbial frog in the pot of water as it slowly warms. But I’m not feeling boiled yet. In fact, when it comes to liberty, I’m feeling that it’s in as good shape as it has been in my lifetime, both personally and collectively. By the way, two of John Tyler’s (10th President) grandsons are still alive. Perhaps we could ask them.