Reason TV and a Tale of Two SOTUs

Actually, Reason TV goes for a more prosaic title with iPhone and oBama: Two Expensive New Models. Only it’s hard to tell the 2011 iPhone from the 2010 model, just as it’s difficult to tell the 2011 SOTU from its predecessor in 2010.  In fact, it’s pretty easy to merge the two speeches into the same theme both used, which is to spend even more on federal government initiatives, as Ted Balaker demonstrates:

However, Eric Ostermeier at Smart Politics did a little more analysis between the two speeches and found some key differences. The biggest of these is that Obama managed to talk about the economy less this year than he did last year, even after losing a midterm election for ignoring the economy and joblessness for most of his first two years as President, emphasis mine:

President Obama spent the plurality of his speech discussing education policy, devoting 52 sentences, or 13.3 percent of his speech to that policy area.

That marks a more than threefold increase from 2010 when he talked about education for just 4.2 percent of his speech.

The President also peppered his speech with a large dose of discussing the importance of technology and innovation, which comprised 7.7 percent of his speech (30 sentences) – up from just 4 sentences in both 2010 (0.9 percent) and 2009 (1.2 percent). …

Also receiving less air-time from Obama in this year’s Address were statements related to the economy and jobs.

Although the national unemployment rate is down just 0.3 percentage points from his speech one year ago – from 9.7 to 9.4 percent – the amount of attention the President spent on this domestic policy area dropped from 17.2 percent to 11.0 percent.

Having seen his health care reform already signed into law last year – and in the face of its lingering unpopularity with approximately half of the country – Obama spent only 3.3 percent of his speech on health care issues, down from 7.4 percent in 2010 and 9.3 percent in his February 2009 address before Congress.

Remember when Obama promised to focus like a laser on jobs and the economy in his third year in office?  It looks more like a laser focus on public-sector jobs in education and train service, as well as the usual laser focus on more federal spending.