So before the post-mortem, some thoughts on the three, yes three speeches tonight. If I get a moment, there might be a fuller analysis tomorrow. At that point, though, the whole thing will be sullied by the pundit class.
President Obama's State of the Union
Liked it. I thought he did a great job of reminding people of the role of government in our nation, it's ability to provide investment in roads, but also science and technology. I thought he struck the right tone that says, "Listen we gotta make some changes and a lot of those changes are going to come from Republicans." It wasn't transformative and I constantly feel like the rhetorical expectations of Obama are always sky-high. He can never live up to the expectations, but I remember a time that if Bush spoke in complete sentences, he was a conquering hero. I would have liked more specifics, but I understand why he wasn't. Most importantly he has staked out the ground of responsible middle, which could help him get some things done over the next two years, but I wonder, if you make enemies on both sides what does that due to your re-election bid?
Representative Paul Ryan's Republican Response
Vastly better then the responses in recent years and I think Rep. Ryan did a good job staking out the Republican position. It's a position I greatly disagree with, but it was concise, seemed legitimate, and was focused on spending which is an easy sell. I thought he provided a great counter-point to the President, though I found wrapping themselves in the patronage of the founding fathers to be unseemly.
Representative Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Response
First, this isn't an actual party. It's a second Republican response and I question CNN's decision to air it. That said, I watched it. There were charts, horribly misleading charts that ignored a fiscal crisis. Also, who was she speaking to? Reminds me of a Mitch Hedburg joke where everyone is looking slightly to the left. On the whole, atrocious. Scattered, trite, disingenuous, and backward-looking. Quite honestly, it made Rep. Ryan and Republicans look like adults, while the Tea Party remains people stuck in a middle school civics class.
Again, the pundit class will breakdown every syllable before I wake tomorrow, but there are some initial thoughts.