'This Week' Transcript: Sens Lieberman, Conrad and Hutchison

OBAMA: While the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. You know what else they share? They share a stubborn resilience in the face of adversity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: That was President Obama delivering last year's State of the Union address. Welcome back. Joined again by our roundtable.

George, I know that you have a great, great regard for watching the State of the Union on television.

WILL: A, they're overrated. The next morning, the country is still a complex continental country with muscular interests (ph) and politics is its own momentum.

Between Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson, no one delivered this in person. They sent their report to Congress in writing. But now we've turned this into this panorama in which -- in an interminable speech, every president, regardless of party, tries to stroke every erogenous zone in electorate.

AMANPOUR: Oh, my goodness.

WILL: And it becomes a political pep rally, to use the phrase of Chief Justice Roberts last year. If it's going to be a pep rally, with the president's supporters or whatever party standing up and braying approval, and histrionic pouting on the part of the other, then it's no place for the judiciary, it's no place for the uniformed military, and it's no place for non-adolescent legislators.

BRAZILE: It's a once-a-year opportunity to talk to the American people to remind us who we are and where we're going. This is an opportunity for the president to use scripture to give us a vision, because the Bible says, without a vision, a people will perish, and we didn't have that over the last...

(CROSSTALK)

AMANPOUR: So what is the vision? Because now or never.

BRAZILE: It's about jobs. It's about rebuilding America, making America competitive and strong again, and taking care of all our issues, both on the domestic front, as well as international.

DOWD: To me, the State of the Union -- and I'll agree in part with George and disagree in part with George on this -- they don't affect the American public. If you look at like approval numbers going into State of the Unions over the last 35 years and coming out, they do not move the numbers. Even Ronald Reagan, who was lauded as one of the best communicators in the history of this country, never moved the American public.

Barack Obama, another great speaker, did very well in Tucson. In last year's State of the Union, didn't move the numbers. But what is important I think in this is for him to continue to connect the dots with the audience in the Capitol and the people that surround people in the Capitol that he is going to keep doing what he's been doing since Election Day.

It's not the event in itself that matters, but it's how -- the cumulative effect of it. And if he continues to, one, talk about jobs and the economy, and then tie to it an increase in making our discourse better and talking to each other across party lines, if he does those two things, he will continue to rise in the polls.

AMANPOUR: There's been some preview of what he's going to say. What does he need to say to inspire confidence in the economy?

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