But now, as he stares down a potentially rocky midterm election for his party -- not to mention a Congress that’s gridlocked at near-historic low approval ratings -- the past half-year has meant anything but action on some of the president’s key goals.
Yes, Obama has taken some actions on his own: He’s issued 183 executive orders so far through his term, according to the American Presidency Project -- the fewest amount on average per year of the past 10 presidents. These range from orders forcing power plants to curb carbon emissions, to ones protecting federal employees from gender identity discrimination.
Take the minimum wage, for example -- a hot-ticket item Obama pressed Congress, governors and local officials to take up in his speech. In February, Obama issued an executive order to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contract workers. But despite his renewed calls for lawmakers to broaden pay talks, the federal minimum wage has remained untouched, at $7.25 per hour.
Then there’s immigration overhaul reform, a goal Obama targeted to check off “this year.” Congress hasn’t seen any legislative movement on it in the months since the State of the Union. Lawmakers are now gearing up for their five week summer recess
And as for Obama’s aim of boosting bipartisanship among lawmakers on Capitol Hill? Well …
PostTV took a look at how far some of Obama’s State of the Union goals have -- or haven’t -- come since January. Here’s a look at the now-versus-then.