If you count up the words in President Obama’s State of the Union address, he uttered more than 7,000 words last night (at least according to my computer). Given the length of the speech, it’s amazing that he and his speechwriters managed to avoid saying even one word about two pivotal economic issues.

The result is that the speech does not merely rise above politics (as many commentators are noting today) – what could have been a much stronger speech is instead completely disconnected in highly visible ways from issues that the President should have had the courage to address directly.

Where, for example, was some reassurance from the President that the White House will spearhead swift action on the foreclosure wave washing over many states?

The President didn’t utter the “f” word (foreclosures) even once last night. It’s as if the issue doesn’t exist at all for him. Perhaps in the Olympian world of his advisors and spin-doctors, it really doesn’t exist – it’s only something of concern to people in flyover country. Or maybe the folks in the West Wing somehow missed Senator Jeff Merkley's eloquent appeal for the President to talk about foreclosures.

Same goes for the issue of US bank closures, especially closures of community banks. If the President meant what he said Tuesday night about helping a hypothetical “small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise,” couldn’t he have included some idea of what can be done to shore up the balance sheets of actual community banks wounded by the Great Recession – the banks which provide so much of the funding necessary for small businesses to succeed?

Like foreclosures, however, community banks did not merit a mention last night. (Perhaps the issue just does not poll well, according to the White House’s number-crunchers.)

There’s a time and a place for delivering speeches that are “above politics” in tone.

But here’s a hint for President Obama’s speechwriters: when someone speaks from such a high rhetorical altitude that it seems like he is detached from his country’s problems, then that speaker comes across as not just “above politics,” but almost disdainful of his fellow citizens’ concerns.

Is that the image that President Obama wants to convey?