Last night I pulled parental rank. I wanted to watch and listen and take notes on the State of the Union. I asked that one of the two adult children living here at home pick up #6 from dress rehearsal. He was to be done between 9:15 and 9:30 so prime speech time.
There was quite a bit of discussion between #1 and #3 but #3 stepped up as #1 fell asleep on the couch. Thanks, Lei!!!
To start with, I panicked when CNN was saying the speech would run between 70 and 75 minutes with applause. That is way past my bedtime. If I want to watch something on television at 10 pm, I generally DVR it as I will never stay awake for the whole show. Next, as I watch President Obama enter the joint session, I had the strangest thought. I wanted to know where he had stuffed his hand sanitizer. It cannot possibly be sanitary, especially in the middle of flu and cold season, to shake all those hands and not wash your hands or sanitize immediately.
The beginning and the end of the speech were pure Obama – lofty words from a great orator. The president started the speech with history on the State of the Union speech itself. This bit ended with him saying, and I am paraphrasing, we are “again tested and must answer history’s call.”
President Obama also noted that the worst of the economic storm has passed but the devastation remains. He punctuated this point with stories of people across the United States.
Probably the most annoying part of watching the speech was having Vice President Joe Biden in the camera’s view the entire time. He was not quite as quick to jump up in applause as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi but seemed to sit and nod in agreement continually.
President Obama noted that we all hated the bank bailout, himself included. Most of the money has been recovered. To recover the remaining, he is proposing a fee on the biggest banks. Hopefully, along with the Huffington Post Move Your Money grassroots effort, this does not cause these large institutions more misery. Actually, I think a bit of misery in the large banking institutions – not misery like closings but more a thought-provoking misery – would be a good thing.
President Obama declared jobs the number one focus in 2010. The true engine for job creation is America’s businesses. Obama also introduced some new small business tax credits – for creating new jobs, for raising wages. The House has passed a bill already and Obama urged the Senate to do the same.
The speech itself would lend to a very long post. I am going to do, over the next few days, several on different areas of the speech. I will close with some of my overview thoughts.
There was a lot of eight year bashing in this speech. President Obama did not mention former President George W Bush but mentioned those previous eight years. This truly put looks of consternation on the faces of GOP faithful in the chamber. I, the registered Democrat who tends to vote Independent, was annoyed by it as I figure we all know what has happened in the past administration. I really don’t need it pointed out to me. I want to know what is going to be done to fix the issues that were created then, not who created them. And while a person can blame the president, a good majority of those congressional representatives and senators were there helping with the creation of the last eight years – on both sides of the aisle.