Professor Tom Cronin of the Political Science department recently published an analysis of the State of the Union called “Rallying the Party with Middle-class Economics” in the Conversation. The Conversation is an independent news source, which aims to renew faith in journalism and promote public discourse in current affairs.

Cronin, an accomplished scholar, has been published in numerous journals and papers, including the New York Times, Science, Saturday Review, TV Guide, and the Daily Beast.  In addition, he has published various books; his most recent book published is “The Paradoxes of the American Presidency, 4th edition” (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Cronin recounts in his article that Obama asserted that the United States has recovered from the recession and introduced a new agenda. The agenda will help the middle and working class reap the benefits of the economic revival.

Professor Cronin argues that most people do not watch the State of the Union and that it makes little to no difference in public opinion or the actions of Congress.  However, it is still an opportunity for the President to declare his agenda and honor the nation. Through this, as Cronin points out, President Obama was able to divert attention away from the Democrats losing in the past elections.

Cronin relays that President Obama’s strongest topics within the SOTU were the economy, efforts to help community college students and those who earn meager wages, issues on child care, and paid sick leave. Professor Cronin thought it was clever on Obama’s part to not include policies that would be necessary to fund the agenda.

Professor Cronin critiqued Obama by relaying that Obama gave himself too much credit for the economic improvement. In addition, he believes that Obama expressed that there was more progress in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the general war on terror than in reality.

Cronin believes that Obama united the Democratic Party effectively and introduced worthwhile policies on which Congress should reflect. Cronin elaborates: “It is the President’s job to emphasize the positive, reinforce the tribe, and promote nationalism.” However, he believes that there will be no breakthroughs in the aforementioned issues other than in trade and cyber security.

Professor Cronin has written numerous books on the American Presidency as well as scores on academic articles. He explains that it’s entertaining to write these pieces because sometimes someone unexpected reads them. “I write occasionally for blogs, and I never know who is going to turn in, especially compared to the books I write who are read more frequently by those in my field,” Cronin said.

Professor Cronin gave the advice to those interested in political science, writing, or journalism to be avid readers, and to specifically read the New Yorker, the Economist, and the New York Review of Books.

Leave a Reply