Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Another Interesting SotU Observation

with 2 comments

This is a much looser SOTU than I got used to under George Bush—much more house of commons—applause is shorter, but more frequent, jeers are obvious, Mr Obama is anticipating it and working off Republican hostility like a stage comic with hecklers. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” would still have been considered a breach of decorum tonight, but less so, than it was in September. The seething Republican id is officially the new normal, and, as we saw tonight, Obama is clever and flexible enough to score points off it when he wants to.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 28, 2010 at 1:45 am

2 Responses

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  1. Agreed. It was a home run as a speech and only as a speech. SOTUs do not have to be speeches. If this were a letter to congress, it would have been a tired report about the mess we have in Washington.

    Two notes that make Obama’s speech fall short:
    -He still blames a previous administration when all presidents inherit problems that cannot quickly be undone. He needs to look ahead, not back. And when he addresses this with his critics, he’s only feeding the monster of petty jabs.
    -He needs to stop the comedy and arrogance.

    Before the SOTU, reporters said Obama was hoping to spend less time in Washington and more time on the road, showing people that he “understands” what they are going through. This means more speeches. We don’t need more speeches. As is the case with the SOTU, speeches are momentary and do little to drive legislation.


    January 28, 2010 at 9:28 am

  2. I have to disagree with both your caveats. Bush was blaming Clinton for things through the end of his second term; they were blaming Clinton for the housing bubble and credit crisis at late as the 2008 election.

    And the comedy/”arrogance” worked. Republicans, and the irrational Democratic fear of them, are a big part of the problem in Washington right now; staring them down and daring them to keep doing what they’re doing is a change in strategy and I think it might get some results. People were on Obama’s side watching that speech, jokes and all; the instapolls reflect that.


    January 28, 2010 at 9:51 am

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