During the address, Americans would get to see shots of this Army Ranger sitting or standing next to the first lady, sometimes applauding with some difficulty at something the president said. But it wasn't until nearly the end of the SOTU address that America would get to know who this soldier, blind in one eye and with only partial use of his left side, really is.
The challenge for the president was to avoid ticking through a list of ideas that had no chance of going anywhere. I think he largely avoided that, though he did hit on ideas that Congress probably will, but shouldn't block, like extended UI, infrastructure investment, a higher national minimum wage, and an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. But the president cannot and should not let Congress block his every move, and good for the administration for trying to find other ways to help working families overcome opportunity barriers in our increasingly unequal economy. If he, and the rest of us, can convince them to work on behalf of the economic well-being of the American people, especially those left behind by the current expansion, so much the better. But I don't blame him for not waiting.