President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and Sen. Marco Rubio’s Republican response make the case that the ritual should be skipped in years following a presidential election. The Constitution doesn’t require an annual report, and Americans don’t need to be kept up late on a Tuesday night to listen to a rehash of campaign talking points.
An exception was President Obama’s call for votes on gun control legislation. It was the dramatic highlight of his speech. The fact that it wasn’t an election topic — the Newtown massacre happened in December — underscores his lack of prior leadership on the issue.
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