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Politics & Government

Presidential Rhetoric in the State of the Union Address

President Obama spoke Wednesday afternoon at US Steel’s Irvin Plant in West Mifflin, PA. The visit is part of a 4-stop tour in which he’s emphasizing efforts to help the long-term unemployed and close the gap in economic disparity. Those efforts were initially highlighted Tuesday night in the president’s state of the union address.

University of Pittsburgh Political Communications Professor Gerald Shuster talked with us about the effectiveness of the president’s messaging during the address. Especially when he put it to congress to raise the minimum wage by saying “So join the rest of the country, say yes, give America a raise.”

“He’s saying to congress, ‘listen, I’m on board. And you need to be.’ But in reality, he’s not talking to congress there. Those people who are directly impacted by the lack of action and in the area of unemployment compensation, those areas were key to going directly to the audience, which is one of the reasons he’s coming to Pittsburgh, and saying, ‘now you need to get back to your member of congress or to your senator and say to them, why aren’t you on board with this?’”