Wednesday, January 24, 2007

2007 State of the Union Address

Two of the best excerpts from the President's State of the Union Address last night:

Each of us is guided by our own convictions -- and to these we must stay faithful. Yet we're all held to the same standards, and called to serve the same good purposes: To extend this nation's prosperity; to spend the people's money wisely; to solve problems, not leave them to future generations; to guard America against all evil; and to keep faith with those we have sent forth to defend us.


A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy -- and that is what we have. We're now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth, in a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs -- so far. Unemployment is low, inflation is low, and wages are rising. This economy is on the move, and our job is to keep it that way, not with more government, but with more enterprise.

And the funniest line of the night:
Let us have a serious, civil, and conclusive debate, so that you can pass, and I can sign, comprehensive immigration reform into law.
Serious, civil, and conclusive? From a Democrat Congress?

Reading or listening to the whole speech is highly recommended. It wasn't as short as I had hoped, but it was a very good speech.

And now, for others' observations:
What was worth commenting on, however, was the contrast in blinks per minute between Pelosi and Cheney. While Pelosi clocked a good 25-30 blinks per minute, Cheney barely mustered 3 or 4. If energy conservation is a personal virtue—as he once said so dismissively—Cheney is a saint. The man functions admirably on standby power.
Tom Shales at the Macaca Post seems to think there's some value to the mindlessly repetetive post-speech coverage, commending networks that spent more time talking about the speech than covering it.

The more interesting observations were based on comparing the behavior of the Vice President and the Speaker:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Cheney, sitting in the customary place behind President Bush as he addressed the nation from the House chamber last night, resembled nothing so much as a seesaw.

...there were plenty of lines to present Cheney and Pelosi -- and their respective sides -- with the dilemma of when to stand or clap.

Bush called for the need to "pass medical liability reform." Cheney applauded. Pelosi took a drink of water.

The awkwardness increased when the subject finally came to Iraq.

Bush urged lawmakers to "turn events toward victory." Cheney stood and applauded. Pelosi held to her chair, but, as the applaud spread, finally stood without clapping.

Bush called for the United States "to succeed in Iraq." Cheney again stood and clapped. Pelosi wiped her lips and remained seated, as did most Democrats, except for relative hawks such as Clinton and the newly minted independent, Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.)...

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