After the President's fifth State of the Union address tonight, I thought long and hard about how I could summarize his message in one line. That became quite difficult, but here are a few of the best, in my opinion:
"Lets focus on whats right with America."
"We are stronger when we field a full team."
"When our differences shut down our government or threaten the credit of the U.S., we are not doing right by the American people."
And those are just a few. The president received one of the longest bipartisan standing ovations that our nation has seen in years and it was most deserved.
This was a different president and this was a different State of the Union address. The tone and the message were both positive and upbeat.
He started with the merits of education, talking about a teacher who spent time with a student who needed it. He talked about how our high school graduation rate is higher than it has been in three decades, rather than talking about how India and China are kicking our butt educationally.
He touched upon the postives about auto workers and how the manufacturing sector is finally adding jobs, how the deficit is lower, how we are importing less oil and how we can make this union, America, strong. He spoke of business and how the world is looking west, toward the U.S., rather than east to China for investing. And much like a cheerleader, he asked us to work together to make 2014 a breakthrough year.
The president frequently made the speech very personal. He seemed more relatable, like one of us, not just our commander in chief.
And as an American, I felt hopeful, and we haven't had much of that for a long time. How can we not be hopeful when, as the president mentioned, the daughter of a factory worker is now CEO of America's largest auto company, the son of a bartender is our speaker of the House and the son of a single mother became president, our president.
And he was our president tonight. This was not about left and right, this was about what we need to do, and what we need to stop doing, to go forward together. He spoke of how Washington needs to focus on the lives, hopes and aspirations of the American people.
And I believe he became my new best friend when he stated that "a woman deserves equal pay for equal work." After all, I believe the next election year will be the year of the woman.
And was there a dry eye in the house when he introduced a soldier who was a true hero? And when he asked us if we could look into our children's eyes and tell them "we did all we can"?
The president spoke of the need to regain the trust of the American people. And I believe he did that tonight with this speech.
He inspired me and inspired us and I believe we need to take his advice, because America "never gives up, does not quit" and we should not give up or quit on our nation, on each other or on this president.