And one of the issues on which Obama must decide whether he wants to pick a fight is nuclear weapons. Obama long has advocated for fewer U.S. and Russian warheads. And reports surfaced Monday that Obama intended to call for more further shrinkage of the U.S. atomic fleet in his SOTU address.
But a potential monkey wrench came late on Monday (Washington time), when North Korea appears to have detonated a nuclear device. Hours earlier, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied that Obama would be making a new nuclear announcement in the SOTU.
“Well, I would say that the President made clear publicly his desire to further reduce nuclear arms. I don’t think there was anything new in the story that suggested to the contrary,” Carney said. “His commitment to arms control and nuclear reductions is well known. But I do not anticipate a new announcement in the State of the Union address.”
The operative word there is “new.” Will Obama, just hours after the North’s detonation, double down on his previous statements, or take a red pen to those sections of the speech?