My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


State of the Union Reactions

I sat and watched the whole of the speech tonight (with a small interruption to get the girls out of the bathtub), and overall impression was very positive. This President knows how to play his strong suit-security. He seemed very assured, very strong, even defiant while defending his foreign policy, and smartly addressed a great many of his key applause lines straight to the center camera--in effect, to the American public. He did seem to lose some of his momentum when he turned to domestic issues. Though it would be dry, anybody still listening would have been well served to hear a listing of the key economic indicators, all of which are pointing up. He could have simply bludgeoned the opposition with facts, hoping that they would point towards better job numbers soon (Powerline has a good analysis of an underreported aspect of the jobless numbers--well worth the read). Nonetheless, I was gratified that his laundry list of new programs was pretty short, his defense of new tax cuts pretty forceful, and that he called for a limit to the growth of spending.

The big message that I came away with was simple: I like this job, I'm good at this job, I have much left to accomplish, and even though I'm going to try to appear above the fray, I'm going to fight like hell to keep this job.

Favorite Moment: when he paused after "Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire. . .", he handed out just enough rope to the Dems--who took the opportunity to applaud inappropriately--so that he could hang them with the line "The terrorist threat will not expire on the same timetable." Very nice, and just a little feisty.

Funniest Picture: every time the camera panned to Ted Kennedy, he was shaking his head from side to side. I started to wonder if he was listening to the speech or just upset at the quality of Scotch sitting in from of him.

Who's In Charge: after taking the time to list the allies involved in our efforts in Iraq, he pointed out to his detractors that they should never be dismissive of their sacrifices--a gentle slap on the wrist to the "unilateralist" crowd.

"Huh?" Moment: charging professional sports with cleaning up steroid use. Not sure this is his province, or that it deserves to be on the same podium as national security (though it was nice of Tom Brady to take a few hours off from his Super Bowl preparation to be a prop).

Out of Her League: Nancy Pilosi has so little business leading one of the major parties in this country. . . The look of perpetual surprise on her face strikes me like a Berkeley liberal suddenly realizing that more than half the country goes to a church on a regular basis (Oh, wait. . . that actually pretty much describes her. . .).

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