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


State of the Union

I had other obligations tonight, so I was unable to watch the speech delivered. So when I got home I read the transcript and watched the last few minutes, and then got to watch the Democratic response.

Overall, I thought it was a fine speech--nothing earth-shattering, but solid. I like that the President gave no quarter on the conduct of the war in Iraq, on the Patriot Act, or on the NSA domestic surveillance program. I also like that the President hit on a theme for the domestic program: a hopeful society. That, I think, was pretty smart politics. Looking forward, optimistic, with an idea and an ideal to drive towards, a stark contrast to the gloom and doom of the Democrats.

I think I would have preferred that he come out with more domestic numbers. He only had the majority of the public for the first few minutes--I think its safe to assume that a lot of the non-junkies turned on cable reruns after the first several minutes--so why not hit hard with the facts of the economy to start with, leading to the conclusion that the state of the union is strong. Then segue to foreign policy and run it out.

As to the Dem response, it had a theme, also: there's a better way. Of course, they're not going to tell you what that way is (maybe it's on their web site), but there's a better way. What struck me most is who they chose to deliver it: a moderate governor from a red state who looks like he could walk out of a Marine barracks comfortably, who is notably a practicing Catholic and who ends his speech with a call to prayer . . .

not exactly talking to the base, there, are they?

In the end, this probably won't change the world. But it was good.

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