I pretty much nailed my predictions. I was right on with Iraq and Afghanistan. The Theme is "The Future" and the goals are education and innovation for JOBS with education reform being the area where he thinks the Republicans will work with him. I should have predicted Boehner tearing up because that was the most entertaining and I should have seen it coming earlier.
And, I eat crow only with regard to the failure to adopt the deficit reduction framework of the Debt Commission. That may be a real failure as I saw it as the President's chance to "appear" responsible in addressing the issue while deflecting blame for the hard stuff on to the Commission. What he did, though, was almost as good politically, and also rather pragmatic and even respectful of the Constitution.. He did not propose or address specifics but hit the theme and left the responsibility dangling for the Republican House to pick up. That is where the Constitutional responsibility lies to initiate spending (or debt reduction) measures. And he has a shield in the Senate (not just by party - but institutional and Constitutional). So he can sit back to some extent and see what the House can accomplish to be tempered by the Senate and the Prez as necessary. He probably recognizes, as distasteful as it may be, that not much will be agreed to in the short term. The new Republican House has to deal with their internal conflicts and contradictions first. He may just be able to step in and help mediate to "principled compromise" - not just between Dems and Repubs, but among the various factions of the Republican Party (Tea Party, Libertarians, Fiscal Conservatives, and Social Conservatives, not to mention the ingrained career politicians that even they have).
Regardless of what many say, I still think this President is all about the Constitution. He clearly miscalculated the debate on Health Care to some extent and in what manner is the subject of much debate. But what I see is that he had a goal, ran on it to be elected, and turned it over to the Congress to work out and legislate the details and compromises that he would ultimately sign and execute according to Art. II.
The Executive Branch has taken far too much out-front responsibility in these modern days both in drafting legislation and proposing budgets. IMO the Constitution places those responsibilities in the Congress with budgets to originate in the House. The Congress is We the People through our elected representatives. Get involved.