By William Lewis
Nowhere is it mentioned in the U.S. Constitution that the State of the Union has to be a verbal statement or that the president has to give a speech before members of Congress.
All of the State of the Union documents were written documents sent to Congress, up to the time of President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921). He began giving speeches outlining the State of the Union to both Houses of Congress. From that time on, the State of the Union messages were speeches given by the president to Congress. In addition to both houses of our legislature being present, members of the Supreme Court and also members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were invited to hear the address, and most of them attended.
It is probably the best opportunity the president has for listing his accomplishments and for outlining his goals for the future. The State of the Union was set to be given every year around the end of January. This presentation is one of the most important political speeches that is given during any term of office.
Looking at the statewide races this year, it seems there will be a Democratic primary for the governorship, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo being challenged by actress and activist Cynthia Nixon. The main things in Cuomo’s favor are that he is the incumbent governor and he has around $30 million in his campaign fund. He also will have the endorsement of the Democratic State Committee. He is expected to also have endorsements from most of the incumbent Democratic elected officials, as well as most of the new Democratic candidates running for the first time for office.
There will be national attention focused on this race, since Gov. Cuomo is rumored to be a presidential candidate in 2020. However, if he should lose the primary to Nixon, it will be the end of his presidential aspirations for the time being. Nixon is now considered a serious candidate, from the standpoint that she has received the Working Families Party endorsement. In all of politics, the factor most considered is how much money the candidate has and how much he or she can spend. It may well depend upon how much money Cynthia Nixon can raise. Much of her efforts in the next few months will have to be fund-raising activities.
Cuomo’s record has been established during the years he has spent as governor. He will have to defend that record. Nixon will be challenging his actions and bringing in her own ideas as to what must be done in the future. Both candidates will be campaigning long and hard as they try to gain the nomination as the Democratic candidate for New York state governor. This forthcoming primary election will be long and interesting. We hope it will produce the best results.