Liveblogging the State of the Union
Watch this space for a liveblog of tonight's State of the Union Address...
9:00 Chief Justice Roberts files in with Associate Justices, including that up-and-comer Sam Alito.
9:05 Fox News reports Cindy Sheehan was detained in the gallery above the chamber when unfurling a banner. Blogs for Bush on the matter. FNC reports Sheehan was someone's guest, perhaps Rep. Lynn Woolsey's.
9:08 Unexplained delay as Bush is kept in a holding room outside the chamber. Because of the Sheehan fracas? ... Ah, here he comes. ... Clapping ... Clapping ... Intro by Hastert ... Clapping ...
9:15 The state of our union is... "strong. And together we will make it stronger."
9:20 Echoes of the second Inaugural:
Dictatorships shelter terrorists ... and seek weapons of mass destruction ... Democracies replace resentment with hope ... and join the fight against terror ... We will act boldly in freedom's cause ... The advance of freedom is the great story of our time.
9:25 A nice dig at Presidential and military detractors:
Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second guessing is not a strategy.
9:30 More on the theme of seeding worldwide democracy:
Elections are vital, but they are only the beginning ... Now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, and work for lasting peace ... Liberty is the future of every nation in the Middle East. Because liberty is the hope and right of all humanity. The regime in Iran sponsors terrorists in the Palenstenian territories and that must come to an end. The nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to get nuclear weapons.
Speaking directly to the people of Iran, Bush expresses his respect and compassion for them and speaks of his desire to become the "closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran."
9:35 On to brass tacks. Bush urges reauthorization of the Patriot Act. He cites precedent set by previous Presidents for the Terrorist Surveillance Program.
If there are people in our country talkin' with al Qaeda, we want to know about it. Because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.
9:37 Cut to Senator Clinton, clapping what looks like a very sarcastic clap.
9:40 Bush argues for keeping America globally competitive and refers to economic centralization (read: a business-unfriendly, taxy federal government) as "protectionism" and "isolationism" for the severalth time. This was a theme and a specific phraseology we'd been advised the President would hammer home. I like it.
Second Congressional urging: Make the tax cuts permanent.
9:43 And a third (this one on earmark reform): pass the line item veto.
9:45 Bush refers to "two of my Dad's favorite people" about to hit retirement age... "me and President Clinton." Notes that Congress did not act on his social security reform last year. Now Hillary (and her side of the room) are clapping a very genuine clap (Hooray for obstructionism!). Yet entitlement spending is a problem "That. Is. Not. Going. Away." replies Bush. The right side of the room replies with an ovation of their own.
9:48 A fourth legislative urging: pass medical liability reform this year.
9:50 And now on to energy policy... Bush announces the Advanced Energy Initiative. Lots of benchmarks and alternative energy sources, but nothing terribly innovative.
9:52 Bush also announces the American Competitiveness Initiative. More acronyms, more benchmarks.
9:53 Here are the full remarks as prepared for delivery, just arrived courtesy of the the RNC.
9:56 Bush recognizes Justices Alito and Roberts. He does it graciously, but firmly, and I'm glad he didn't omit such nods for fear of seeming gloaty.
10:03 Parting comment:
Before history is written down in books, it is written in courage. Like Americans before us, we will show that courage and we will finish well. We will lead freedom’s advance. We will compete and excel in the global economy. We will renew the defining moral commitments of this land. And so we move forward – optimistic about our country, faithful to its cause, and confident of victories to come.
Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.
There is a better way.
Rewind. Repeat ad nauseum.
Length of Address: 50 minutes
Interruptions for Applause: 61
Most Potent Quotable: "America rejects the false comfort of isolationism."
Best Instalexicon Entry: "Terrorist Surveillance Program"
Best Soundbite: "We love our freedom. And we will fight to keep it."
(in Bush's I'm dead serious tone)
- Reauthorize the Patriot Act
- Make the tax cuts permanent
- Pass the line item veto
- Pass medical liability reform this year
The general tone was often conciliatory and at times, even reminiscent of leftward rhetoric (e.g. green energy initiatives, swelling government programs). The right elements were in there (the four legislative urgings, the tough talk on Iran, unabashed pride in the success of economic policies, reiterating the grand vision of the second Inaugural address), but they were underrepresented in a 50 minute speech in which they should have been front and center. That said, the President's overall passion, toughness, and eloquence were decently in force. These addresses are largely pageants in leadership; tonight, Bush cut a sufficiently strong leadership profile as to make the speech a success. But there were missed opportunities to do the job more convincingly by staying more on his own message, something this President is typically a master at.
Blogs for Bush, The American Princess, Weapons of Mass Discussion, Publius Rendezvous, The Washington Patriot, Daily Perspective, Conservative Blogger, Right Wing News, Captains Quarters
Handcrafted by Flip on January 31, 2006 |
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