Thrush: SOTU: ‘Less A Presidential Olive Branch Than A Congressional Cattle Prod’
President Obama’s State of the Union Address is being billboarded as “aggressive.”
When POLITICO asked how Obama is approaching the speech compared with his previous State of the Union addresses, a person close to the process of drafting the speech replied with a 2,500-year-old quote from Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu:
“Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.”
The anodyne, stage-managed West Wing leaks have the State of the Union speech focusing on “jobs creation,” poll-tested paeans to the “middle class” and a new slate of infrastructure projects that will have a tough time passing Congress. Privately, administration officials see it as an extension of Obama’s unabashedly provocative and progressive Jan. 21 inaugural address, their latest attempt to leverage favorable deals on the sequester and the debt ceiling comparable to the watershed deal Obama secured on increasing taxes on the wealthy.