President Obama Address to Joint Session of Congress (Full Video) 2-24-09

President Barack Obama delivered a speech before a joint session of Congress on February 24, 2009.  See video, photos and transcript and watch the full Obama speech here.   While not technically the State of the Union Address, it is an equivalent, although the President has been in office for slightly more than a month.   It is a tradition for an incoming president to give a Presidential address before a Congressional joint session.

Obama Presidential speech to Congress video

Republican response – Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal video

Given the challenging circumstances, with a worsening economic crisis and the recent passage of the $787 billion economic stimulus package (officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act),  the President sought to strike a reassuring tone, much as he has in his series of weekly addresses.   He must both quell skepticism and yet give a realistic outlook of what can be accomplished.

The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation,” the president said in his speech to Congress. “The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth.”

“Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.”

Prior to the speech Both Senior Advisor David Axelrod and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs conducted numerous interviews with major media.  Gibbs said the President would deliver a Reaganesque speech.

“The president believes very clearly that we have to be honest with the American people about where we are…“He will,” Gibbs said, “tell the country that we’ve faced … greater challenges than the ones we face now, but we as Americans always meet those challenges. But in the Reaganesque words, there are always better days ahead.”

Axelrod stated in his interviews, regarding the Obama Address to Congress,

But it’s important that people know where we are today and how we get out of the situation we’re in so it is a balance that he has to strike.” […]

Source:  Politico: Gibbs hints at ‘Reaganesque’ speech

The President’s address comes amidst continual high job approval ratings that range from 63 percent to 68 percent, according to various polls conducted by several news organizations which include CNN, Washington Post/ABC and New York Times/CBS.   Notably, nearly seven in 10 Americans believe Obama is succeeding in fulfilling on his promise to bring change to Washington, according to The Washington Post/ABC poll.

Among the special guests attending the Obama State of the Union address were the Miracle on the Hudson pilot Captain Chesley B. Sully Sullenberger and the crew of Flight 1549, receiving a special tribute and standing ovation.

See also:

After the jump is the Congressional address video and the Republican response (Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal) video.

Related posts:

Obama Address to Congress: Obama Congressional Speech Video, Photos 2-24-09 pics pictures – Obama Presidential Address


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