President Obama went big in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Big on climate. Big on the economy. Big on equality – including, historically, equality for bisexual and transgender Americans. No longer tempering the politics of his presidency to support the iffy electoral prospects of rotten red-state Democrats like Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, Obama uncorked a speech full of populist vigor and “oh, snap” swag. The address was calibrated to delight his base, particularly in the gleeful way it trolled Republican haters. The mic-drop moment of the night came right after Obama said “I have no more campaigns to run.” Some GOP members jeered, but Obama silenced them with a quick-thinking ad-lib: “I know, because I won both of ’em.”
The line inspired one of the greatest .gifs of our era.
— Carla Astudillo (@carla_astudi) January 21, 2015
Here are the most savory morsels from the SOTU speech – and the sourest responses it drew from the other side of the aisle.
Obama delivered the most full-throated call to action on climate change, perhaps of his presidency, even as he parodied a top GOP talking point. Noting that 2014 was the hottest year on record, Obama said:
“I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what – I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”
Obama underscored the progress made under his watch, from the explosion in solar energy production to his historic climate accord with Beijing, and drew a line in the sand:
“I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.”