We will write a custom Essay on President Obama’s State of the Union Speeches specifically for you
301 certified writers online
This memorandum is submitted per your request regarding the agenda setting in President Obama’s State of the Union speeches of 2009 and 2016. The memorandum contains the analysis of two policies mentioned in the SOTU speech of 2016. It also examines two policies introduced in the SOTU speech of 2009, one achieved and one not achieved.
The final SOTU speech of President Obama referenced several policies. I would like to review two of them: the fuel reform and the gun control action.
In the speech, President Obama mentioned a reform of the energy policy. According to him, it was planned to make the country’s transportation system carbon free and allow the use of public land by fossil fuel developers. He emphasized that it would be a transition to clean energy. To my opinion, the three-stream approach of Prof. John Kingdon can be used to understand this policy. In this case, the political stream is the concern of the public about the environmental problems and the use of dirty energy.
The policy stream is the solutions proposed by Obama (using public land for drilling fossil fuel). The problem stream is the protest of the recent protests by the residents of the southeast Atlantic coast against the proposed measures. It is quite clear that the achievement of this policy in the incoming year is highly unlikely since the government withdrew its plan about a week ago. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that the policy would be reversed because of the protests.
Another policy referenced in the President’s final speech is the gun control. Obama mentioned that he would continue his efforts toward the restriction of gun ownership to prevent gun violence. The three-stream approach can be applied to this policy. In this case, the political stream is the extreme concern of the American public about mass shootings and other forms of gun violence, especially in schools. The policy stream is the measures proposed by the Obama administration, mainly the restriction of gun ownership.
The problem stream is the refusal of Congress to aid the Presidential Administration or at least to comply with its decisions. To my belief, this policy can be achieved in the incoming year. However, serious obstacles have to be overcome. First of all, the resistance of Congress should be bore down in order to allow the presidential measures pass. Second, it is necessary to outdo some opposition in the public. Despite being concerned about gun violence, many Americans consider gun restriction a violation of their rights. If this opinion is changed, the policy is likely to be achieved.
In the SOTU speech of 2009, President Obama referenced such policies as the healthcare reform and finding a cure for cancer. While the first one was implemented, the second one was not achieved.
Having announced the upcoming healthcare reform in his 2009 SOTU speech, President Obama and his administration devoted considerable time to developing this reform. The goals of the policy were to make healthcare more affordable for Americans and ensure better health outcomes. As a result, the so-called Obamacare was adopted during the time of the 111-th Congress. The reform has extended the health insurance coverage among Americans, protected the health rights of wage workers, provided additional health benefits to the senior, allowed Americans up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ plan, and offered many other health benefits.
This policy has managed to become enacted for the following reasons. First, the insufficient health coverage and the high cost of medical care was among the primary concern of the American public at the time when the policy was enacted. Second, the measures proposed by the Obama Administration was supported by Senate and enforced by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. Third, no strong opposition to the policy was built.
In the 2009 SOTU speech, Obama also told about his plan to launch another effort that would help to produce a cure for cancer. The cure was not invented during the time of the 111-th Congress, and there is little or no chance that it will be produced during the remaining months of the Obama administration. While the Presidential Administration did provide new funds to the researchers who are involved in studies related to the impact of cancer cells, this measure did not help to find a cure for the following reasons.
First, the funds were most likely insufficient, and the period (2009-2011) too short for so great a task. Second and more important, many specialists say that one single cure for cancer cannot be produced. Many variations of this disease exist, as well as many patterns of the behavior of cancer cells. Additionally, the individual genetics of each patient plays a significant role in the treatment process. It means that a single cure cannot help every patient. Obama should have said that he would provide more funds, but he shouldn’t have mentioned that the disease would be conquered.
In this memorandum, I have demonstrated the connection between agenda setting and the actual policy. I have analyzed four policies of the Obama Administration and discussed their implementation.