State of the Union speech

I missed the State of the Union address last night.  Listening to it every year is a ritual I try to subject myself to.  Somebody please report.  Did it contain any eloquence, any electric phrases that will go down in history?  Any surprising new policies?    What was the “takeaway” from the President’s State of the Union address?


About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • J oel Gerlach

    For an excellent critique, check today’s posting by David Goldman on “First Things”

  • J oel Gerlach

    For an excellent critique, check today’s posting by David Goldman on “First Things”

  • Carl Vehse

    In the 70 -minute speech Barry Soetoro, the malignant narcissist, referred to himself 114 times. He said “I” 96 times, and used “my” or “me” 18 times. That even got Janet dozing off. He told 13 stories that may not be true, and Barry blamed his own failures on George Bush 10 times. (Barry, that dog can’t hunt anymore!)

    For more of the numbers analysis, check Kevin Hall’s “A numbers breakdown of the SOTU”.

    Oh, and during the SOTU, Barry had a Supreme Court Justice call him a liar; Alito mouthed (but did not speak up) the words, “Not True!” during Barry’s dissing of the SCOTUS. That’s not the way to treat the people who are going to decide on the constitutionality of your legislation, Barry.

  • Carl Vehse

    In the 70 -minute speech Barry Soetoro, the malignant narcissist, referred to himself 114 times. He said “I” 96 times, and used “my” or “me” 18 times. That even got Janet dozing off. He told 13 stories that may not be true, and Barry blamed his own failures on George Bush 10 times. (Barry, that dog can’t hunt anymore!)

    For more of the numbers analysis, check Kevin Hall’s “A numbers breakdown of the SOTU”.

    Oh, and during the SOTU, Barry had a Supreme Court Justice call him a liar; Alito mouthed (but did not speak up) the words, “Not True!” during Barry’s dissing of the SCOTUS. That’s not the way to treat the people who are going to decide on the constitutionality of your legislation, Barry.

  • Kirk

    There was too much clapping. I’m left with that impression after every State of the Union.

    But Carl is right, the Great Usurper blathered on, glorifying his own failings, conditioning America for its eventual destruction and sowing the seeds of communism in the minds of the children watching his speech. All the while, he failed to address the pressing questions that matter most to Real Americans(tm), namely: where his birth certificate is, why he hates America, and further details of the pact that he made with Satan to get himself into office.

  • Kirk

    There was too much clapping. I’m left with that impression after every State of the Union.

    But Carl is right, the Great Usurper blathered on, glorifying his own failings, conditioning America for its eventual destruction and sowing the seeds of communism in the minds of the children watching his speech. All the while, he failed to address the pressing questions that matter most to Real Americans(tm), namely: where his birth certificate is, why he hates America, and further details of the pact that he made with Satan to get himself into office.

  • Joe

    I did not watch it, but from what I read about it this morning it sounds like there is some stuff in there that I would like: fiscal responsibility, a tax cut for small businesses that hire people, etc. Now, we have to see what his actual budget proposal contains. I can only hope that the substance will match the rhetoric.

  • Joe

    I did not watch it, but from what I read about it this morning it sounds like there is some stuff in there that I would like: fiscal responsibility, a tax cut for small businesses that hire people, etc. Now, we have to see what his actual budget proposal contains. I can only hope that the substance will match the rhetoric.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    You watch those things? My goodness, you’ve got a stronger stomach than I! At any rate, all I’ve seen is that the speech was more or less “*** the iceberg, full speed ahead”.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    You watch those things? My goodness, you’ve got a stronger stomach than I! At any rate, all I’ve seen is that the speech was more or less “*** the iceberg, full speed ahead”.

  • trotk

    Empty words and weak rhetorical skills. That is all.

  • trotk

    Empty words and weak rhetorical skills. That is all.

  • Orianna Laun

    There was one comment in there where he talked about helping others and being compassionate–I don’t exactly remember how he said it, but it was clearly incongruous with his stance on abortion. There was another point where he was pointing to that which he inherited from the previous administration, and I’m sure that John McCain said, “Blame Bush” to the person next to him. That’s what it looked like to me.

  • Orianna Laun

    There was one comment in there where he talked about helping others and being compassionate–I don’t exactly remember how he said it, but it was clearly incongruous with his stance on abortion. There was another point where he was pointing to that which he inherited from the previous administration, and I’m sure that John McCain said, “Blame Bush” to the person next to him. That’s what it looked like to me.

  • http://puttingoutthefire.blogspot.com Frank Gillespie

    As some of the people above already noted, the narcissism of BHO was on full display. I’m really having trouble understanding why he’s doubling down on blaming Bush and promoting policies that lost him the senate 60 vote majority last week.
    I continue to be amazed at how well he delivers a speech. I caught myself more than once last night getting distrated by how he was saying what he was saying instead of what he was saying. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more gifted speaker.

  • http://puttingoutthefire.blogspot.com Frank Gillespie

    As some of the people above already noted, the narcissism of BHO was on full display. I’m really having trouble understanding why he’s doubling down on blaming Bush and promoting policies that lost him the senate 60 vote majority last week.
    I continue to be amazed at how well he delivers a speech. I caught myself more than once last night getting distrated by how he was saying what he was saying instead of what he was saying. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more gifted speaker.

  • John C

    After reading Carl and Kirk I wonder if the optimism and hope for a better world that once united the country can overcome the bitterness that now divides it.

  • John C

    After reading Carl and Kirk I wonder if the optimism and hope for a better world that once united the country can overcome the bitterness that now divides it.

  • Orianna Laun

    President Obama addressed the division in Washington in his speech last night a few times. I wonder what has caused the bitterness and division. Maybe that is from where change needs to come, that is, if the root of the problem can be discovered and compromise can be reached. There are some issues, though which are divisive and those in Congress who want to do what’s best for the country may never compromise. A large government senator and a small government senator may never find a way to reconcile their differences.

  • Orianna Laun

    President Obama addressed the division in Washington in his speech last night a few times. I wonder what has caused the bitterness and division. Maybe that is from where change needs to come, that is, if the root of the problem can be discovered and compromise can be reached. There are some issues, though which are divisive and those in Congress who want to do what’s best for the country may never compromise. A large government senator and a small government senator may never find a way to reconcile their differences.

  • Carl Vehse

    More comparisons of SOTU claims with the facts of reality are in Calvin Woodward’s article, “FACT CHECK: Obama and a toothless commission”.

  • Carl Vehse

    More comparisons of SOTU claims with the facts of reality are in Calvin Woodward’s article, “FACT CHECK: Obama and a toothless commission”.

  • Carl Vehse

    Paul Mirengoff’s Powerlineblog critique starts off:

    “Perhaps the best way to evaluate tonight’s State of the Union speech is to speculate about how it will have sounded to independents and centrists. After all, their defection is mainly what has elected Republicans and driven down President Obama’s approval rating.

    “Since I’m not an independent, it isn’t easy to put myself in their position. However, I do get some assistance from my wife who falls into that category.”

    The critique ends:

    “I’m sure this went down well with Obama’s base, but again, I doubt that independents were impressed.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Paul Mirengoff’s Powerlineblog critique starts off:

    “Perhaps the best way to evaluate tonight’s State of the Union speech is to speculate about how it will have sounded to independents and centrists. After all, their defection is mainly what has elected Republicans and driven down President Obama’s approval rating.

    “Since I’m not an independent, it isn’t easy to put myself in their position. However, I do get some assistance from my wife who falls into that category.”

    The critique ends:

    “I’m sure this went down well with Obama’s base, but again, I doubt that independents were impressed.”

  • Tickletext

    John C, I believe Kirk was sarcastically mimicking Carl.

  • Tickletext

    John C, I believe Kirk was sarcastically mimicking Carl.

  • Tickletext

    Also, from my perspective the Once United, Now Divided trope seems altogether dubious.

  • Tickletext

    Also, from my perspective the Once United, Now Divided trope seems altogether dubious.

  • DonS

    I didn’t see the speech, but Janet Napolitano apparently thought it was very refreshing! :-)

    http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//100128/480/8e52510ec0004da6a989ff20fb417c5e/

  • DonS

    I didn’t see the speech, but Janet Napolitano apparently thought it was very refreshing! :-)

    http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//100128/480/8e52510ec0004da6a989ff20fb417c5e/

  • http://thesoberpeasant.blogspot.com/2009/11/what-was-that.html Rev. J Douthwaite

    May I ask a related question? How was the Republican response by Governor O’Donnell? I heard he did better than Jindal did last year, but that’s not saying much.

  • http://thesoberpeasant.blogspot.com/2009/11/what-was-that.html Rev. J Douthwaite

    May I ask a related question? How was the Republican response by Governor O’Donnell? I heard he did better than Jindal did last year, but that’s not saying much.

  • Rose

    The staging of the Republican response was inspired. Gov. O’Donnell also spoke in his Capitol, to the frequent applause of an audience made up of Virginians. This elevated the stature of the response from the usual setting of a lonely guy in an office somewhere.

  • Rose

    The staging of the Republican response was inspired. Gov. O’Donnell also spoke in his Capitol, to the frequent applause of an audience made up of Virginians. This elevated the stature of the response from the usual setting of a lonely guy in an office somewhere.

  • Rose

    Obama tried to laugh off the Massachusetts election: “I know it’s an election year. And after last week, it is clear that campaign fever has come even earlier than usual.” Whistling past the graveyard.

  • Rose

    Obama tried to laugh off the Massachusetts election: “I know it’s an election year. And after last week, it is clear that campaign fever has come even earlier than usual.” Whistling past the graveyard.

  • Bob

    Unlike many childish posters on this blog, most Americans are mature enough to realize the discussion is about issues, not name calling and other pre-adolescent behavior.

    Poll: 83% of Speech Watchers Approve of Obama’s State of the Union Proposals

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/01/27/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry6149049.shtml

  • Bob

    Unlike many childish posters on this blog, most Americans are mature enough to realize the discussion is about issues, not name calling and other pre-adolescent behavior.

    Poll: 83% of Speech Watchers Approve of Obama’s State of the Union Proposals

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2010/01/27/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry6149049.shtml

  • Carl Vehse

    Michelle Malkin had this to say about McDonnell’s response:

    “Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell is giving a terrific counter-response to Obama’s spend-all, do-all State of the Union address. He is drawing on the Founding Fathers and talking about the need to restrain government…

    “McDonnell tipped his hat to Scott Brown, quoting his line that feds need to be spending money to protect Americans from terrorists, not funding their legal defense.”

    But not as succinct as the comment of Justice Alito (similar in meaning if not in volume to the response by Joe Wilson to an earlier speech made by the 0bamassiah).

  • Carl Vehse

    Michelle Malkin had this to say about McDonnell’s response:

    “Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell is giving a terrific counter-response to Obama’s spend-all, do-all State of the Union address. He is drawing on the Founding Fathers and talking about the need to restrain government…

    “McDonnell tipped his hat to Scott Brown, quoting his line that feds need to be spending money to protect Americans from terrorists, not funding their legal defense.”

    But not as succinct as the comment of Justice Alito (similar in meaning if not in volume to the response by Joe Wilson to an earlier speech made by the 0bamassiah).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Apparently, this whole “Obama is a narcissist” thing (cf. Carl’s quaint little rant @2) is something of a meme today.

    I decided to do some word counts comparing Obama’s State of the Union speech last night to those of his predecessor. I considered Bush’s last SotU (the most recent), as well as his 2nd (as this was Obama’s 2nd). But Bush’s 2nd came on the heels of 9/11, and thus was rather different than most SotU’s, so I also looked at Bush’s first SotU. My counts are based on a simple find routine, and may not be perfectly accurate (for instance, my search for “I” did not find instances like “I’ve”, etc.)

    Obama did say “I” more than Bush did in his speeches. (SotU count: 2010=80, 2008=42, 2002=31, 2001=43)

    “Me” was not nearly as popular for either President (SotU count: 2010=10, 2008=2, 2002=4, 2001=9).

    But then, Obama also talked more about “we” than Bush ever did (SotU count: 2010=133, 2008=104, 2002=72, 2001=74).

    And he talked way more about “America” (SotU count: 2010=70, 2008=19, 2002=27, 2001=36).

    As well as talking more about “our” (SotU count: 2010=116, 2008=107, 2002=70, 2001=76).

    Perhaps all this really tells us is that word count itself isn’t a significant tool for analysis. Unless you already have an Obama-hating agenda that you want to push.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Apparently, this whole “Obama is a narcissist” thing (cf. Carl’s quaint little rant @2) is something of a meme today.

    I decided to do some word counts comparing Obama’s State of the Union speech last night to those of his predecessor. I considered Bush’s last SotU (the most recent), as well as his 2nd (as this was Obama’s 2nd). But Bush’s 2nd came on the heels of 9/11, and thus was rather different than most SotU’s, so I also looked at Bush’s first SotU. My counts are based on a simple find routine, and may not be perfectly accurate (for instance, my search for “I” did not find instances like “I’ve”, etc.)

    Obama did say “I” more than Bush did in his speeches. (SotU count: 2010=80, 2008=42, 2002=31, 2001=43)

    “Me” was not nearly as popular for either President (SotU count: 2010=10, 2008=2, 2002=4, 2001=9).

    But then, Obama also talked more about “we” than Bush ever did (SotU count: 2010=133, 2008=104, 2002=72, 2001=74).

    And he talked way more about “America” (SotU count: 2010=70, 2008=19, 2002=27, 2001=36).

    As well as talking more about “our” (SotU count: 2010=116, 2008=107, 2002=70, 2001=76).

    Perhaps all this really tells us is that word count itself isn’t a significant tool for analysis. Unless you already have an Obama-hating agenda that you want to push.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    While I will eventually read the transcript of the speech, I seriously doubt I will give it much consideration as I don’t trust a word Obama says. The man who promised an open government condoning the closed door meetings that exclude a sizable portion of elected officials, yeah that screams “trust me”. In addition, after seeing the numbers on his budget, I have little hope for serious fiscal responsibility. Besides, only a moron cuts the part of the budget that develops future innovation.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    While I will eventually read the transcript of the speech, I seriously doubt I will give it much consideration as I don’t trust a word Obama says. The man who promised an open government condoning the closed door meetings that exclude a sizable portion of elected officials, yeah that screams “trust me”. In addition, after seeing the numbers on his budget, I have little hope for serious fiscal responsibility. Besides, only a moron cuts the part of the budget that develops future innovation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I only caught the last third of the speech myself, and I can’t really bring myself to read the full transcript now. I was surprised to hear the line about “building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.” It’s a pet issue of mine, but I was glad to hear that. Unfortunately, given that was the only sentence about it, I don’t think we’ll be hearing much more about that (a la Bush’s 2006 mention of “switch grass”).

    Also, Obama did not end his speech with “God d*** America.” My Republican informants apparently misled me. Huh.

    I did find it odd that McDonnell’s line that “we welcome your ideas on Facebook and Twitter” got a laugh from his Virginia audience: “Ha ha. He doesn’t really mean it. They won’t read it.”

    And Kirk (@3), well played. But I don’t think John C (@9) got it.

    And Carl, usually in discussions like these, people say what they think, not repeatedly point to someone else’s thoughts they found on a blog somewhere. Do you have your own thoughts that you’d like to share? I have it on good authority that you’re capable of forming your own opinions.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I only caught the last third of the speech myself, and I can’t really bring myself to read the full transcript now. I was surprised to hear the line about “building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.” It’s a pet issue of mine, but I was glad to hear that. Unfortunately, given that was the only sentence about it, I don’t think we’ll be hearing much more about that (a la Bush’s 2006 mention of “switch grass”).

    Also, Obama did not end his speech with “God d*** America.” My Republican informants apparently misled me. Huh.

    I did find it odd that McDonnell’s line that “we welcome your ideas on Facebook and Twitter” got a laugh from his Virginia audience: “Ha ha. He doesn’t really mean it. They won’t read it.”

    And Kirk (@3), well played. But I don’t think John C (@9) got it.

    And Carl, usually in discussions like these, people say what they think, not repeatedly point to someone else’s thoughts they found on a blog somewhere. Do you have your own thoughts that you’d like to share? I have it on good authority that you’re capable of forming your own opinions.

  • John C

    Apologies to Kirk at 3
    But I still stand by my comments Tickletext.

  • John C

    Apologies to Kirk at 3
    But I still stand by my comments Tickletext.

  • Kirk

    @24

    I was wondering if you caught it or if you didn’t, as I thought that what you said could have applied, either way.

  • Kirk

    @24

    I was wondering if you caught it or if you didn’t, as I thought that what you said could have applied, either way.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Overall one got the impression that despite the attempt at cool Obama has been spooked by Brown’s taking of the Kennedy seat. He actually pivoted on the issues of nuclear power, free trade, job creation through tax cuts for small business, and the freeze on discretionary spending. These were substantial changes of policy, though the proof will be in the pudding when he makes substantive proposals to Congress.

    The low point of the speech was the graceless frontal attack on the Supreme Court regarding the issue of corporate campaign finance, including a factual error on foreign corporate election finance. He had nothing substantive on the ObamaCare issue that would give the panicked Blue Dogs in Congress some cover. He failed to address the key issue of trying KSM and Abdulmutallab in civilian court, a matter that that troubles most Americans

    Obama’s basic trouble is that the people have caught on that he is in over his head in this high office, trying mostly to govern through rhetoric and passing the buck on policy issues to Pelosi and Reid.

    He doesn’t really understand, as Clinton through painful experience did, that the country is basically center-right with in round numbers of 40% conservatives, 40% moderates, and 20% liberals. He is actually one of those Harvard educated liberals who think their ideas are ipso facto right and their turds ought to be cast in bronze.

    The trouble is that people have caught on to Obama’s perpetual campaign rhetoric

    The negative reaction of conservatives to Obama’s speech is no surprise, and I largely share it. But here are four substantive things I liked about the address: Its call for more nuclear power, its warm embrace of free trade as a tool of job creation and economic growth, the call for capital-gains tax cuts, and the proposal to freeze discretionary spending, which doesn’t go nearly far enough but is a perfectly good start.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Overall one got the impression that despite the attempt at cool Obama has been spooked by Brown’s taking of the Kennedy seat. He actually pivoted on the issues of nuclear power, free trade, job creation through tax cuts for small business, and the freeze on discretionary spending. These were substantial changes of policy, though the proof will be in the pudding when he makes substantive proposals to Congress.

    The low point of the speech was the graceless frontal attack on the Supreme Court regarding the issue of corporate campaign finance, including a factual error on foreign corporate election finance. He had nothing substantive on the ObamaCare issue that would give the panicked Blue Dogs in Congress some cover. He failed to address the key issue of trying KSM and Abdulmutallab in civilian court, a matter that that troubles most Americans

    Obama’s basic trouble is that the people have caught on that he is in over his head in this high office, trying mostly to govern through rhetoric and passing the buck on policy issues to Pelosi and Reid.

    He doesn’t really understand, as Clinton through painful experience did, that the country is basically center-right with in round numbers of 40% conservatives, 40% moderates, and 20% liberals. He is actually one of those Harvard educated liberals who think their ideas are ipso facto right and their turds ought to be cast in bronze.

    The trouble is that people have caught on to Obama’s perpetual campaign rhetoric

    The negative reaction of conservatives to Obama’s speech is no surprise, and I largely share it. But here are four substantive things I liked about the address: Its call for more nuclear power, its warm embrace of free trade as a tool of job creation and economic growth, the call for capital-gains tax cuts, and the proposal to freeze discretionary spending, which doesn’t go nearly far enough but is a perfectly good start.

  • Joe

    Peter @ 26 “But here are four substantive things I liked about the address: Its call for more nuclear power, its warm embrace of free trade as a tool of job creation and economic growth, the call for capital-gains tax cuts, and the proposal to freeze discretionary spending, which doesn’t go nearly far enough but is a perfectly good start.”

    I can sign on to this too.

  • Joe

    Peter @ 26 “But here are four substantive things I liked about the address: Its call for more nuclear power, its warm embrace of free trade as a tool of job creation and economic growth, the call for capital-gains tax cuts, and the proposal to freeze discretionary spending, which doesn’t go nearly far enough but is a perfectly good start.”

    I can sign on to this too.

  • kerner

    I think the SOTU had promises for everybody. Gays in the military and green jobs for the left. Tax cuts and spending freezes for the right. Open government and bi-partisanship for the centrists. But I don’t know how much of it I believe. We’ll see how he follows through on all of it.

    But I don’t think that his delivery was so great. He sounded kind of whiney to me, like he wants us to believe that everything that has gone wrong for him is someone else’s fault.

  • kerner

    I think the SOTU had promises for everybody. Gays in the military and green jobs for the left. Tax cuts and spending freezes for the right. Open government and bi-partisanship for the centrists. But I don’t know how much of it I believe. We’ll see how he follows through on all of it.

    But I don’t think that his delivery was so great. He sounded kind of whiney to me, like he wants us to believe that everything that has gone wrong for him is someone else’s fault.

  • LAJ

    Governor Bob McDonnell’s speach was far superior to our President’s. Of course, he was not on the defensive as is Obama. He was optimistic, spoke for small federal government, and personally thanked our soldiers for their service. Sarah Palin summed up the President’s speech with one work, lecture.

  • LAJ

    Governor Bob McDonnell’s speach was far superior to our President’s. Of course, he was not on the defensive as is Obama. He was optimistic, spoke for small federal government, and personally thanked our soldiers for their service. Sarah Palin summed up the President’s speech with one work, lecture.

  • Cincinnatus

    The speech was vague (he demanded a “jobs” bill from Congress, whatever the heck that means), fluffy, and bursting with untruths, but so are the great majority of such speeches. As far as a comparison against other speeches, I found it altogether too colloquial (but then again, I’ve never found Obama’s reputation as a gifted orator to be at all justified). He made two tactical mistakes: the first was repeatedly insisting upon the merit of policies that are tremendously unpopular (the stimulus bill and the current healthcare proposal) and, indeed, destructive (cap and trade will raise utility costs for all households and will destroy an average of two million existing jobs per year if enacted). I felt as if he was lecturing the American people as to why they “just don’t get it” about these bills. The second mistake was, inadvertently or no, asserting China as the model nation for which we must strive and calling attention to the fact that nations like China are “beating” us at various endeavors (which, while true, does not an encouraging address make).

    I will also point out that his direct confrontation of the Supreme Court was not dignified and could have been interpreted as intimidation of the court–not a tactic that should be present in an uplifting speech, as these speeches are supposed to be. (It was also blatantly wrong, whatever you think of the court ruling).

    But other than that, the speech was entirely unsurprising and underwhelming. He failed to announce anything new or ambitious. Not that he should, but the speech certainly isn’t going to be the stuff of memorization in our elementary schools.

  • Cincinnatus

    The speech was vague (he demanded a “jobs” bill from Congress, whatever the heck that means), fluffy, and bursting with untruths, but so are the great majority of such speeches. As far as a comparison against other speeches, I found it altogether too colloquial (but then again, I’ve never found Obama’s reputation as a gifted orator to be at all justified). He made two tactical mistakes: the first was repeatedly insisting upon the merit of policies that are tremendously unpopular (the stimulus bill and the current healthcare proposal) and, indeed, destructive (cap and trade will raise utility costs for all households and will destroy an average of two million existing jobs per year if enacted). I felt as if he was lecturing the American people as to why they “just don’t get it” about these bills. The second mistake was, inadvertently or no, asserting China as the model nation for which we must strive and calling attention to the fact that nations like China are “beating” us at various endeavors (which, while true, does not an encouraging address make).

    I will also point out that his direct confrontation of the Supreme Court was not dignified and could have been interpreted as intimidation of the court–not a tactic that should be present in an uplifting speech, as these speeches are supposed to be. (It was also blatantly wrong, whatever you think of the court ruling).

    But other than that, the speech was entirely unsurprising and underwhelming. He failed to announce anything new or ambitious. Not that he should, but the speech certainly isn’t going to be the stuff of memorization in our elementary schools.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@30) said, “the speech certainly isn’t going to be the stuff of memorization in our elementary schools.” Indeed. It certainly wasn’t as good as that one State of the Union address that we all did memorize when we were in elementary school. You know the one … by, um, that President. Man, that was a good State of the Union. You remember which one I’m talking about. Right? ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@30) said, “the speech certainly isn’t going to be the stuff of memorization in our elementary schools.” Indeed. It certainly wasn’t as good as that one State of the Union address that we all did memorize when we were in elementary school. You know the one … by, um, that President. Man, that was a good State of the Union. You remember which one I’m talking about. Right? ;)

  • Cincinnatus

    Ever the logic-chopper, tODD@31 (yes, that is a pejorative ascription). But fine. I’ll revise my statement to say that the speech was not remotely memorable.

  • Cincinnatus

    Ever the logic-chopper, tODD@31 (yes, that is a pejorative ascription). But fine. I’ll revise my statement to say that the speech was not remotely memorable.

  • justme

    The Governor’s speech was much shorter and said way more. Sort of like the Constitution or the 10 Commandments, or the kinds of Legislation we should expect from a Conservative congress. You don’t need to be worried about having to write down every little, nick picking detail, when you are not concerned about managing every little aspect of everyone’s lives, and can just lay out broadly defined guidelines. Well, that would be the goal, at least. Also, the Governor seemed much more relaxed and maybe that’s also because he isn’t obsessed with being the busybody type? Do feel sorry for POTUS in that he does look very stressed out, not just the grey (which came on in record time, eh?) hair, but the bags under the eyes and just doesn’t have the same coolness as during the campaign. Probably what happens to a lot of Professors who feel confident in the classroom, but really get chopped up pretty good in the real world, especially in the big time? Finally, that “giggle” after the Governor’s twitter/facebook line was probably just the giggle of nervous adults trying to show how cool they are embracing the technology of the young and hip, and using it to do serious government stuff instead of the usual more juvenile and self observed applications? Sort of like the giggle you might get from your school teacher who finally decided to dance at the senior prom. Compared to the cool and hip younsters, not really too cool….you just have to giggle at the attempt though :) Well, those are just some thoughts, not as wellwritten as most of the comments on this blog, but that’s justme…can’t help but giggle :)

  • justme

    The Governor’s speech was much shorter and said way more. Sort of like the Constitution or the 10 Commandments, or the kinds of Legislation we should expect from a Conservative congress. You don’t need to be worried about having to write down every little, nick picking detail, when you are not concerned about managing every little aspect of everyone’s lives, and can just lay out broadly defined guidelines. Well, that would be the goal, at least. Also, the Governor seemed much more relaxed and maybe that’s also because he isn’t obsessed with being the busybody type? Do feel sorry for POTUS in that he does look very stressed out, not just the grey (which came on in record time, eh?) hair, but the bags under the eyes and just doesn’t have the same coolness as during the campaign. Probably what happens to a lot of Professors who feel confident in the classroom, but really get chopped up pretty good in the real world, especially in the big time? Finally, that “giggle” after the Governor’s twitter/facebook line was probably just the giggle of nervous adults trying to show how cool they are embracing the technology of the young and hip, and using it to do serious government stuff instead of the usual more juvenile and self observed applications? Sort of like the giggle you might get from your school teacher who finally decided to dance at the senior prom. Compared to the cool and hip younsters, not really too cool….you just have to giggle at the attempt though :) Well, those are just some thoughts, not as wellwritten as most of the comments on this blog, but that’s justme…can’t help but giggle :)

  • Carl Vehse

    And one of the best reviews of and recommendations to last night’s disgraceful TOTUS-reader is given in this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08rx3JmspnI“>YouTube video by a commentator who Chris Matthews said makes tODD’s leg tingle.

  • Carl Vehse

    And one of the best reviews of and recommendations to last night’s disgraceful TOTUS-reader is given in this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08rx3JmspnI“>YouTube video by a commentator who Chris Matthews said makes tODD’s leg tingle.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@32), regarding “logic-chopper”, there’s nothing quite like an ad hominem response to show up your forensics superiority. Touché.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@32), regarding “logic-chopper”, there’s nothing quite like an ad hominem response to show up your forensics superiority. Touché.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@35: I was assigning a name to what you often do here. And you’re still doing it.

    And I still think the speech was lackluster.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@35: I was assigning a name to what you often do here. And you’re still doing it.

    And I still think the speech was lackluster.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, Cincinnatus is right about your tendency to logic-chopping argument. You often make elliptical, secondary points that may be ocular and tangential to the issue but not substantive.

    In the case of this thread Cincinnnatus made several cogent criticisms of Obama’s speech and capped it with the point that that it had scarcely memorizable material for elementary learning. You ignored his main points and picked him up on the memorization point. In fact some presidential speech-making is memorable for elementary students.; Cincinnatus wasn’t limiting his point to SOTU addresses.

    Also, in formal debating terms, far from an ad hominem remark, Cincinnatus was raising a valid point of personal privilege regarding your debating style.

    Sorry to be a skunk at your tea party.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, Cincinnatus is right about your tendency to logic-chopping argument. You often make elliptical, secondary points that may be ocular and tangential to the issue but not substantive.

    In the case of this thread Cincinnnatus made several cogent criticisms of Obama’s speech and capped it with the point that that it had scarcely memorizable material for elementary learning. You ignored his main points and picked him up on the memorization point. In fact some presidential speech-making is memorable for elementary students.; Cincinnatus wasn’t limiting his point to SOTU addresses.

    Also, in formal debating terms, far from an ad hominem remark, Cincinnatus was raising a valid point of personal privilege regarding your debating style.

    Sorry to be a skunk at your tea party.

  • Mark

    to LAJ #29: You cited S. Palin’s comment that the President’s speech was a “lecture”. I hope S. Palin is not demeaning the noble art of the lecture! But it’s interesting to note that ‘lecture’ can be a perjorative, as in ‘you are lecturing me’ as if I don’t know anything. Yes, the President is good at that, witness his “teachable moment” on racism in the “beer summit”. The hoi polloi just don’t git it until the President enlightens us. But as to the ‘speech’ being a professor’s lecture: it certainly was not that! I love a good lecture by a good professor and teacher and that SOTU was no lecture!

    And it was certainly not a “speech”. In fact, in a bi-partisan way, the SOTU addresses do not qualify as a “speech”, that is an oral discourse with a type of narrative thread, ruled by logic and rhetoric, for a point or series of points in order to persuade an audience in some direction that the speaker deems central and even unassaible. I can not remember the last time I heard a SOTU in which one listened and the audience was not clapping and jumping up all through out. The SOTUs have been for sometime a paragraph or two of an actual thought with 80 applause lines. (note that the reports will cite how many applause lines in a SOTU) I just see in my imagination a bunch of bulleted points on the page: one goes to the right side of the aisle, the other to the left side. (And this one included a rare bulleted talking point right down the middle to the Supremes: BTW, contrary to what the President said, even with the Supreme Court’s reversal on campaign financing, foreigners can not contribute) Those bullets are aimed at those who a President wants to, well, kiss up to. In one SOTU, Pres. Clinton called for school uniforms! And then in the address or talk, throw in someone sitting next to the First Lady who has an ancedotal story important to the President’s main bulleted talking points and you have a warm human moment (I think it may have been President Reagan who first started that). This then reinforces the notion that truth is ruled by personal story instead of the logic of say a philosophy or theology, which the speaker firmly believes in and acts upon.

    What did I think of the speech? Same old, same old. Full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.

  • Mark

    to LAJ #29: You cited S. Palin’s comment that the President’s speech was a “lecture”. I hope S. Palin is not demeaning the noble art of the lecture! But it’s interesting to note that ‘lecture’ can be a perjorative, as in ‘you are lecturing me’ as if I don’t know anything. Yes, the President is good at that, witness his “teachable moment” on racism in the “beer summit”. The hoi polloi just don’t git it until the President enlightens us. But as to the ‘speech’ being a professor’s lecture: it certainly was not that! I love a good lecture by a good professor and teacher and that SOTU was no lecture!

    And it was certainly not a “speech”. In fact, in a bi-partisan way, the SOTU addresses do not qualify as a “speech”, that is an oral discourse with a type of narrative thread, ruled by logic and rhetoric, for a point or series of points in order to persuade an audience in some direction that the speaker deems central and even unassaible. I can not remember the last time I heard a SOTU in which one listened and the audience was not clapping and jumping up all through out. The SOTUs have been for sometime a paragraph or two of an actual thought with 80 applause lines. (note that the reports will cite how many applause lines in a SOTU) I just see in my imagination a bunch of bulleted points on the page: one goes to the right side of the aisle, the other to the left side. (And this one included a rare bulleted talking point right down the middle to the Supremes: BTW, contrary to what the President said, even with the Supreme Court’s reversal on campaign financing, foreigners can not contribute) Those bullets are aimed at those who a President wants to, well, kiss up to. In one SOTU, Pres. Clinton called for school uniforms! And then in the address or talk, throw in someone sitting next to the First Lady who has an ancedotal story important to the President’s main bulleted talking points and you have a warm human moment (I think it may have been President Reagan who first started that). This then reinforces the notion that truth is ruled by personal story instead of the logic of say a philosophy or theology, which the speaker firmly believes in and acts upon.

    What did I think of the speech? Same old, same old. Full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Mark, a better term for it would be the one that’s mostly used, State of the Union Address. Lincoln gave the the Gettysburg address that I was required to memorize in a Lower School.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Mark, a better term for it would be the one that’s mostly used, State of the Union Address. Lincoln gave the the Gettysburg address that I was required to memorize in a Lower School.

  • kerner

    For anyone still following this thread, I stumbled on an interesting short history and comment on SOTU’s here:

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/01/28/where-have-you-gone-rutherford-b-hayes/

  • kerner

    For anyone still following this thread, I stumbled on an interesting short history and comment on SOTU’s here:

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/01/28/where-have-you-gone-rutherford-b-hayes/

  • Orianna Laun

    Sorry, tODD, to correct you; but this was Obama’s first SOTU. The one last year was an address to Congress. Bush gave last year’s in the form of a printed address.
    I know, you’ll probably say with Dave Barry 1) you may be right; 2) shut up. (From Dave Barry’s A History of the Millenium {So Far}–and you know I’m just trying [even though many people tell me I'm not funny] to add a little levity.)

  • Orianna Laun

    Sorry, tODD, to correct you; but this was Obama’s first SOTU. The one last year was an address to Congress. Bush gave last year’s in the form of a printed address.
    I know, you’ll probably say with Dave Barry 1) you may be right; 2) shut up. (From Dave Barry’s A History of the Millenium {So Far}–and you know I’m just trying [even though many people tell me I'm not funny] to add a little levity.)

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I was disappointed that he spent as much time talking about gays in the military as he did talking about the military in Iraq. Priorities?

    I was pleasantly surprised at his proposal for nuclear power, speding freezes, tax-cuts, and job creation.

    I was overall suspicious, as I ended up feeling like he was throwing candy to everyone.

    I suppose that is a bit cynical, but we will see how this pudding bakes up.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I was disappointed that he spent as much time talking about gays in the military as he did talking about the military in Iraq. Priorities?

    I was pleasantly surprised at his proposal for nuclear power, speding freezes, tax-cuts, and job creation.

    I was overall suspicious, as I ended up feeling like he was throwing candy to everyone.

    I suppose that is a bit cynical, but we will see how this pudding bakes up.

  • Mark

    To Peter Leavitt, #39:
    Let’s imagine the Gettysburg Address in the pattern of the SOTU…

    86 years ago this great nation was born in freedom. We have never been so polarized as a nation. We are met on this battlefield and at this cemetary. We can not consecrate this cemetary and so I have asked Congress to be authorized $1 million for the Cemetary Consecration Commission (CCC) to continue the consecrating work these men so bravely begun (applause).

    But we must not stop there. People have said I have divided this nation. I have been elected not as a divider but the uniter-in-chief and I will not quit till we are a union again (applause).

    Towards that end of re-union, I will, by executive order, form the Peace Union Federal Force (PUFF), after this unfortunate incursion of the Army of Virginia into the North, I have asked President Davis for bilateral talks, with PUFF, in Richmond. (applause)

    Further, I have sent word to the Secretary of War that we pull out the Union Armies from the South in 27 months and stop the draft, so that no one may die. (applause)

    I will be sending a bill to Congress to authorize $100 million dollars to buy all the current slaves in the South, for their fair market value, and set them free (applause).

    After peace is established, I have asked the Department of War to admit into the ranks of the Armed Forces all the brave soldiers of the Confederacy. (applause)

    This is the time now to not stop or quit. We must pass the Southern Cotton Insurance Program (SCIP). (applause) By which the government buys all cotton produced in the south and sells it to Europe (applause).

    And so that government, of, by and for all people does not perish from the earth, that after re-union, the Southern States be considered a semi-autonomous region, with it’s own government, that sends representatives to the Congress so we are still the United States of America, the greatest nation on earth. (applause)

    God bless America.

    Well, you get the picture…

  • Mark

    To Peter Leavitt, #39:
    Let’s imagine the Gettysburg Address in the pattern of the SOTU…

    86 years ago this great nation was born in freedom. We have never been so polarized as a nation. We are met on this battlefield and at this cemetary. We can not consecrate this cemetary and so I have asked Congress to be authorized $1 million for the Cemetary Consecration Commission (CCC) to continue the consecrating work these men so bravely begun (applause).

    But we must not stop there. People have said I have divided this nation. I have been elected not as a divider but the uniter-in-chief and I will not quit till we are a union again (applause).

    Towards that end of re-union, I will, by executive order, form the Peace Union Federal Force (PUFF), after this unfortunate incursion of the Army of Virginia into the North, I have asked President Davis for bilateral talks, with PUFF, in Richmond. (applause)

    Further, I have sent word to the Secretary of War that we pull out the Union Armies from the South in 27 months and stop the draft, so that no one may die. (applause)

    I will be sending a bill to Congress to authorize $100 million dollars to buy all the current slaves in the South, for their fair market value, and set them free (applause).

    After peace is established, I have asked the Department of War to admit into the ranks of the Armed Forces all the brave soldiers of the Confederacy. (applause)

    This is the time now to not stop or quit. We must pass the Southern Cotton Insurance Program (SCIP). (applause) By which the government buys all cotton produced in the south and sells it to Europe (applause).

    And so that government, of, by and for all people does not perish from the earth, that after re-union, the Southern States be considered a semi-autonomous region, with it’s own government, that sends representatives to the Congress so we are still the United States of America, the greatest nation on earth. (applause)

    God bless America.

    Well, you get the picture…


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