Sound Familiar? Obama SOTU Address May Mirror Clinton’s of 16 Years Ago

Jan 21, 2011 4:51pm

ABC News' Ann Compton reports:  The State of the Union address President Bill Clinton delivered 16 years ago might sound just as relevant today considering the political landscape awaiting President Obama when he arrives for his address Tuesday night. 

Both speeches find a humbled Democratic president being introduced by a brand new Republican Speaker after a stunning election.

In 1995, Newt Gingrich intoned the traditional welcome, “I have the high privilege and distinct honor of introducing the President of the United States.”  And the President could not help but acknowledge the upheaval.

“Let me begin by congratulating all of you here in the 104th Congress, and congratulating you, Mr. Speaker,” President Clinton began. “If we agree on nothing else tonight, we must agree that the American people certainly voted for change in 1992 and in 1994." Laughter rippled across the chamber.

The Democratic President knew his agenda – health care reform, economic growth, cutting the deficit – all depended on finding a way to work with the newly empowered opposition.

“My fellow Americans, without regard to party, let us rise to the occasion,” President Clinton urged. “Let us put aside partisanship and pettiness and pride. As we embark on this course, let us put our country first, remembering that regardless of party label we are all Americans. And let the final test of everything we do be a simple one: Is it good for the American people?”

If President Barack Obama were to speak those very words on Tuesday evening, they would not sound out of date at all.

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