Will poverty be a priority in the State of the Union Address?
Tonight President Bush will deliver his last State of the Union (SOTU for short) address. As is usual at this time each year, rumors abound as to what will be in the speech. Will this particular SOTU focus on his legacy? How ambitious will be the agenda he lays out for the coming 12 months?
As anyone who reads this blog could guess, my colleagues and I will be listening for what President Bush says about making progress against poverty here in the United States and around the world. If previous SOTUs are anything to go by, this is not going to feature very prominently. While President Bush used his 2003 State of the Union to launch the United States most ambitious global aids program, PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), and has lifted up the need to do more on AIDS in the United States, neither he nor his recent predecessors have used this particular platform to make the case to the Congress and the American public that the fight against poverty should be a national priority--that it is the right thing to do and it is in the country's best interest. Will tonight be different? Unlikely, but a fun way to find out is to play the Center for Global Development's State of the Union Bingo, part of their terrific Global Development Matters Campaign.
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