It’s not an official State of the Union speech, but President Barack Obama’s Tuesday night address to Congress is showing all the signs of a major event. The pre-game show started late Monday, with an extraordinary free-wheeling question-and-answer session at the White House with U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives. It continued on morning television, where Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs managed to hit ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN.
Obama plans to offer “a sober assessment about where we are and the challenges that we face,” Gibbs told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Does Obama favor nationalizing U.S. banks? No, he told NBC’s “Today”: “Our banking system has always been private but regulated.” To all questioners, he gave some version of what he told “Today” — “We understand there are brighter days ahead.”
Before he heads for Capitol Hill for the 9 p.m. EST address, Obama has a morning meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso. The global economic crisis tops the agenda, with other key topics expected to include Afghanistan and North Korea.
Elsewhere in Washington, NASA announced that a satellite meant to monitor global climate-warming carbon emissions failed to reach orbit after a pre-dawn launch from California.
Not much of a Fat Tuesday visible from the Front Row.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Combo image of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at January 23 White House briefing)