Encouragement and Disappointment with SOTU

I was encouraged by some parts of the speech. I was very encouraged by his suggestion to decrease gasoline consumption by 20% over the next ten years. I think that's an excellent first step towards energy independence. I like the fact that he recognized the seriousness of global warming and climate change. So I think there will be areas where there is bipartisan support for real solutions so that we can become energy independent in the next decade.

I was more disappointed in his lack of focus on the Iraq War. I would have liked to have seen much more discussion about the political and economic strategies he plans to use to really begin to undermine terrorism and build stability in the region. I really think the solutions are going to lie on the political and economic side, not so much on the military. I think his current plan towards escalation is not the most effective strategy. And that's really based on the last two weeks of hearings. I've been in hearings with the Armed Services Committee. We were able to talk to Secretary Gates and General Pace and talk to them about the strategy. We talked to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and men on the ground. I think that based on all the information we heard the strategy really needs to focus on the political and economic changes like making sure oil revenues are split between the parties to make sure the Sunnis have a stake and a reason to come to the table. Making reconstruction contracts are passed to the Iraqis so that they are rebuilding the roads, schools and hospitals so that their twenty year olds have jobs and have a future.