Nearly nine out of 10 Americans skipped President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. According to Nielsen, only 31.7 million tuned in on Jan. 20 -the second lowest viewership attracted by the event in 15 years.
Yet it’s safe to assume that many, if not most, world leaders were quite curious to hear what the leader of the free world had to say, and our nation’s friends and allies must have turned from the screen deeply disappointed that they barely merited a mention. The speech’s section on America’s place in the world was all too brief.
That’s a shame, because friendly nations are eager for closer dialog with the White House. We know, because we have been on what Hillary Clinton would call a “listening tour,” meeting with officials from allied and partnering nations to learn of their concerns and what they would like to see from the United States.
They told us the same things they’ve been telling this White House for months. Their topline message: Our common values as free nations are being threatened.