Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union was passable

As State of the Union addresses go, it wasn't tediously long and self serving, like Bill Clinton's 2000 address. But it wasn't a barn-burner, like some of Bush's earlier speeches in the House chamber.

Bush's address had some nice ambitious notes in it: reducing our use of gasoline by 20% in ten years; market-based coverage for the uninsured. But like in speeches past, both from Bush and his predecessors, we are not exactly sure how we are to achieve these goals. But at least he's thrown down the gauntlet. Whether the folks he addressed in the House and Senate will take up that challenge is another story.

There were a couple of nice moments that only the power of television could provide and they made the speech that much more fun to watch. The first was New York CIty's own Wesley Autrey was in the gallery and got a shout-out from the President. He appeared to thoroughly enjoy the moment that he earned with his courage.

The second was Barack Obama sitting directly in front of Hillary Clinton. I don't know how the seating assignments were drawn for this affair, but their proximity for the cameras must have drawn more than a few chuckles from the House staff. Clinton and Obama did a good job of pretending not to notice each other, but I can't help but wonder if they weren't thinking about 2008 and didn't hear a word the President said.

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