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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The State of the Union

Yes, I watched the State of the Union last night, because I am a politics nerd. I'll get that out of the way right up front. I get a kick out of the whole affair, especially now that I'm back in DC.

My first thought was that it was so different seeing Boehner behind the President as compared to Pelosi last year. Where she looked like she was swooning over him the whole time, he looked as though he was trying very hard to look like he cared the whole time. Or like something very large was stuck in his rear end. Either one.

I thought the speech was pretty decent, until the President spoke these words:
"The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us."
My first response: How about you go looking for a job for a while, with nothing but $300 in unemployment every week to live on (until it runs out), and come back and let us know how that goes.

Other things I liked: his direct, dead on talk to House Republicans about Health Care reform. I think this might one of the only times I've ever heard the President admit that something he put together and championed could use improvement. I hope that Republicans will take this as an opportunity to work together and fix things, instead of an opportunity to say I told you so and create more vitriol. 

Also, the part where he said that if a bill shows up on his desk with lots of earmarks, he'll veto it. This one, I think, is opening up a can of worms, in that it could be used against him later, but I do agree that the earmark thing has gotten out of control. I just don't want to see people adding earmarks to bills, getting them on there because others think the legislation is too important to risk not getting it passed, and then have the President either go back on his word and allow an earmark, or stick to it and not pass an important piece of legislation solely because there's an earmark.

I also liked the mixing of the parties - I feel like that kept the mood of the room a little more civilized. I also felt as though he did a good job of addressing moderates on both sides of the line, as well as independents. Too much of politics these days focuses on the extremes at either end.

A couple of things I didn't like: There were some specifics lacking - lots of big ideas, but no real HOWs. Granted, this probably wasn't the place for them. But still.

Also, I was a little lost near the end of the speech. I felt like he drifted a bit, and while it seemed like he was trying to make the point that we have things we need to fix, he kinda went into "look how much better other countries are than us right now" territory.

All in all, not terrible. But I'd still love a report back on how the job situation should be a challenge instead of discouraging. What? Not gonna happen? I thought not.

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