CBS News’ Bob Schieffer and Norah O’Donnell were clearly disappointed with the president’s fifth State of the Union Address, Schieffer emphasizing how little “great things” Obama could really do unilaterally despite his repeated threats, and O’Donnell describing his fifth year proposals as falling from “grand to granular” compared to his once “lofty” vision for his second term.
Schieffer: The president kind of drew the line, and I’ll be interested to see what the reaction from this congress is going to be. He says... he’s not going to wait for them, he’s going to go ahead if they can’t do it. Well, the fact is he can’t do many great things. You can by executive do some things. Truman desegregated the armed services with an executive order. But he needs this Congress and they need him, and they have still got to find a way to work together if they’re going to solve the real problems that are facing this country.
After O’Donnell commented on the symbolic power of Remsburg’s role in the speech, she returned to Schieffer’s point about the glaring limitations of Obama’s vision for 2014.
O’Donnnell: And I think then the rest of his speech really just proved that Obama’s proposals have gone from grand to granular. Right? From these grand, sweeping proposals from the beginning of his second term, to the granular, kind of more modest, scaled-back proposals, where really the only thing he that could probably get done—other than the steps he’s going to take by executive action this year—is this sliver of hope that there might be some deal on immigration reform. The president in last year’s remarks said “a pathway to citizenship,” spent several paragraphs on it. This year just one paragraph and he dropped the “pathway to citizenship” reference because what he may get from the Republicans in Congress is just legal status, and he may just take that.