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Media Advisory: Expert available: President Obama’s State of the Union address

By Cheryl Walker, 336-758-6073, walkercv@wfu.edu Office of Communications and External Relations

What policy issues will President Obama spotlight in his State of the Union address next Tuesday?

Of course, reviving the economy and creating jobs will be the central message, Wake Forest professor of politics David Coates says.

In a Huffington Post blog post, “Waiting for the State of the Union,” Coates says, “We are also likely this time to see the return to center stage of issues and policy proposals that were marginalized in earlier Obama State of the Union (SOTU) addresses.”

He looks back at Obama’s past speeches and explains why Obama is likely to focus on the following issues:

  • Climate change
  • Immigration reform
  • Civil rights (particularly the rights of gay Americans)

Coates says now is also the time for Obama to address poverty.

“The greatest domestic failure of the would-be progressive president has been on the issue of poverty and the need for anti-poverty programs.  There was not a single word about the scale of contemporary American poverty in any of the president’s first four SOTUs.

Coates, Worrell Professor of Anglo-American Studies, is also the author of “Answering Back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments” and “Making the Progressive Case.” He maintains the website www.davidcoates.net and blogs regularly on The Huffington Post.

Contact the news office to arrange an interview with Dr. Coates.

About Wake Forest University: Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at www.wfu.edu.

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