SOTU - C
Wednesday January 21, 2015
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A Mullings Special
Overall: This was not Barack Obama's best speech. It was modest in its scope and scale; it was almost desultory in its delivery; it was as if the President wanted to take a victory lap just two months, two weeks, and two days after getting blitzed in the mid-term elections on November 4.
About ten minutes in, I was thinking "If everything is so hunky-dory why did the Democrats get hammered so badly at every level, from U.S. Senate to State Representative?"
Maybe he should have given this speech on November 3.
What is this whole State of the Union thing, anyway? You could look it up.
Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution states the President "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary . . ."
On Tuesday night, President Obama's "Information" took about an hour 20.
I want to propose Amendment XXVIII to amend Article II, Section 3. After the words "measures as he shall judge necessary," Insert the words "Such information to consume not more 60 minutes when read aloud, nor there shall be more than two guests recognized in the gallery."
At about 8:53 CNN announced they would be showing a running scorecard of viewers' dial responses to the President's remarks. I didn't need to know what a carefully selected group thought about what I was about to watch for myself, so immediately switched to C-SPAN.
At the top of the speech President Obama took a victory lap - especially on energy - which industry he has spent most of the past six years excoriating. Now that we're the largest energy producer - oil, gas, wind, solar, whatever - he took credit for it.
On the issue of women making less than men doing the same work? Why didn't that get done in the two years when Democrats owned both Houses of Congress?
He used Chicago as a poster child ("a city with Democratic leadership") as an example of leading with higher minimum wages. He did not mention that Chicago ("a city with Democratic leadership") is also among the murder leaders in the nation.
On trade, the President said that "exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages." Asked for Trade Promotion Authority which appeared to get a higher applause meter reading on the Republican side of the House than among Ds.
On the Internet, he did not call for the Federal Communications Commission to make the Internet a Title II (a utility) service rather than leaving it a Title I (an information) service. Must have been a disappointment to the Liberals who want the Federal government to take control.
His call for a "Use of Force" resolution to attack ISIS got the lamest applause of the speech.
The President's threat to veto any new sanctions bill against Iran was a close second on the lame-o-meter.
Climate change piece was ill-written and didn't lead to a big applause line. Dems applauded at the first opportunity, but it was like clapping for the kid who drops the baton in her twirling act.
On Immigration: The line was so obtuse, no one - no one - applauded.
When the President said he is not running for anything again which drew derisive applause from Republicans, he looked to the R side of the House and said "I know, because I won both of them."
The close was excellent - calling for working together even if he plagiarized the words of Dorothy Fields (and the music of Jerome Kern): "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again" from the 1936 movie "Swing Time" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
The speech was average at best. I give it a gentleman's C.
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