The state of the Union, says President Bush, has never been stronger. It’s a bold claim, coming at a time when the nation is at war, when no one seems certain about the depth of the recession, and when the effect of the Enron scandal has yet to be measured. But the President didn’t get to an 85 percent approval rating by accident. His first State of the Union address is replete with congratulations for what’s been accomplished, reassurances that for whatever lies ahead, Americans will face it together, and a declaration that in the battles yet to be fought, the United States will be on the side of justice, liberty and freedom. It’s less encouraging for those nations marked as evil, and for anyone hoping for a quick and easy economic turnaround.
Daniel Schorr, Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio
John Harrigan, publisher of the Colebrook News and Sentinel in Northern New Hampshire
and Gail Chaddock, Capitol Hill correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.