Statement of Sen. Alexander - President Bush's State Of The Union Address

Posted on February 3, 2005

The state of our union as we begin 2005 is that we're powerful, prosperous and challenged. I think we're challenged by three great issues: The first is how we deal with terrorism. The second is how we keep our jobs in a more competitive world marketplace. And the third is how we preserve our common culture - the principles that unite us as a country. President Bush talked about democracy and security. I was glad to hear him talk more about a success strategy in Iraq. That is central to our dealing with terrorism. We don't need an exit strategy. Of course we want our troop's home, but we want a success strategy. I was also glad to hear him talk about education because if we're worried about competitiveness - and we ought to be - then we need to invest more and support higher quality in our colleges, our universities and in our schools. Whether it's investments in higher education, Pell grants the president has talked about, No Child Left Behind or early education - we need to put more of a focus on that. I like the fact that President Bush did a better job of explaining the social security problem. We need to understand the problem and deal with the problem before it becomes a crisis. I thought the president was strong. I thought he did his job, which is to show us the way and then try to persuade us that he is right.