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25th February
2009
written by Sean Noble

It was a great speech, from the stand point of delivery, timing and cadence.  And it was flat out terrible in substance.  More on that later.

I need to get this off my chest, as a former Congressional staffer that has seen 20-some State of the Union speeches (I know, I know, this wasn’t a SOTU, but it may as well have been – most people couldn’t tell the difference), and a few in person, it drives me absolutely nuts to see Members of the House and Senate line up along the aisle to get a chance to shake the President’s hand, and more importantly, be seen by the folks back home.  I know a little about the job of a Congressman, and I think it is a total and utter waste of time for grown men and women, with important responsibility, to go to the floor of the House hours and hours beforehand and sit on the aisle for their chance to get their mug on TV.  Blah! 

By the way, what was up with Pelosi’s horrendous puke green outfit?  Good grief, you are going to be seen by tens of millions of people for more than an hour and you wear that?!?

Do you think there is any specific reason that White House Chief of Staff sat next to Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano?

Ok, back to text.  Great delivery.  The Democrats in Congress were a little over-anxious with the applause. A standing ovation for Obama saying “nobody messes with Joe”? Really?  I suppose they were really, really excited to have a Democrat talking to them, so I won’t hold it against them.

I am really starting to tire of the phrase, “while the cost of action will be great, the cost of inaction will be far greater.”  I just don’t see how inaction could actually cost more than the $3 trillion+ that action will cost.

Obama seemed a little defensive about “helping banks”.  He must be hearing from some of his left-wing base about that and the polling must not look good (yes they poll EVERYTHING)  “It’s not about helping banks about helping people.”

Obama was also very, very good at blaming Bush without sounding whiney.  Phrases like, “it reflects the stark reality of what we have inherited… a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis and a costly recession.”

The discussion of energy, health care and education were a little sparse on specifics, but lots of lofty rhetoric.  One line that gave me a chill up and down my spine (and not in a good way) was:

So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.

That scares me.  Because when Obama says health care reform, he means government-run, government-managed health care.  Fewer choices, rationed care, less quality of life.  Please, Mr. President, we really CAN wait for that, we prefer to wait – at least for my lifetime.

I was stunned by this line:

I’m proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities.

Do you really think you can get away with such a demonstrably false claim, Mr. President?

The speech ended very well with a nicely written last paragraph:

And if we do – if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis; if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity; if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then someday years from now our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, “something worthy to be remembered.”

That is as close to Reagan as Obama got.  Not bad.

A highlight was Sen. Jon Kyl on the Fox News affiliates calling into question Obama’s claim about the “inherited deficit.”  He had a chart and everything – I had a flashback to Ross Perot – and it made me proud he was on message, willing to tell the truth.

If you missed Jindal’s response, read it, it is superbly written.  But he doesn’t have quite the speaking ability of the President.

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7 Comments

  1. Ginni
    25/02/2009

    The Members of Congress who spent hours down there to get a prime seat and the ones who followed him around like a puppy dog to get his autograph had me gagging.

  2. Emma
    25/02/2009

    Whoever let Pelosi wear that thing is so getting fired today.

  3. Frankie
    25/02/2009

    Jindal was pretty lame. Sure they wrote him a decent speech, but who cares when he butchers the delivery. I felt like he was reading me a story before tucking me into bed. He did not do what Obama did at the DNC in 2004. I don’t know if Jindal is the future of the party, that’s for sure.

  4. Shanna
    25/02/2009

    um…. when did you become a fashionista, Sean?!! 🙂

  5. Thomas
    25/02/2009

    Jindal’s response was absolutely terrible. This speech, underneath the subterfuge and polished delivery, was a declaration of a new America. He basically said, The economic engine of America will no longer be the private sector but the lie in the supremacy of the state, that he would make oil so prohibitively expensive making alternative energy sources the only viable economic option, along with a host of other socialist overtones…I miss the days when democrats found strength in the concealment of their socialist agenda…not anymore his intentions are plain to all.

    Do not get me started on Jindal! He cannot be our nominee the more I study him. American’s will not vote for weird AV Club sounding dorks.

  6. Matthew
    25/02/2009

    Couldn’t be happier with the speech. Sean, do you know what is scarier then government run health care? Health care run by insurance companies.

  7. Mollie
    25/02/2009

    Not to put words in his mouth, but I’m pretty sure Sean is in favor of patient and doctor-controlled health care. Imagine- letting people make important decisions about their medical care all by themselves!!!

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