The Economic Challenges President Obama Needs to Address During His State Of the Union

The following is a discussion between William Galston and Mara Liasson on NPR’s Morning Edition about the economic challenges facing President Obama.

Steve Inskeep: Next week President Obama draws on a power that only presidents have.  Republicans won the last congressional election, but the president alone has the power to command the nation’s attention on occasions like next Tuesday.  That’s when he’ll deliver the State of the Union address. NPR Mara Liasson reports on the president’s efforts to reframe the debate.

Mara Liasson: Here’s how former Clinton White House aide Bill Galston describes Obama’s challenge when he walks into the House chamber Tuesday night. 

Bill Galston: He knows and the American people know that we’re not out of the woods economically yet — that we have an enormous challenge of growth of jobs on the one hand and of long-term fiscal stability on the other. And that is going to put pressure on the president to go big and go long.

Mara Liasson: In the State of the Union, says Galston, the president has to lay out his solutions for the big economic challenges facing the country.

Bill Galston: The dirty little secret is that the economic growth model that we’ve lived off for the past three decades and more, which is driven by household demand, has hit a wall.  We’re going to have to think of new models of growth, and I think the president has an opportunity to open that conversation, which is something the American people are crying for.

Click here to listen to the full interview »