I have not really wanted to think too much about tonight’s speech because every time I do I keep seeing the image of Nancy Pelosi, but in anticipation of Tony Snow’s blogger briefing I forced myself to do it. Just a few thoughts…
I am eager to hear the President talk about his plan to address the issue of health care, but remain pessimistic that the Democrats will seize the opportunity to do something positive on the issue. Same thing on social security. I have been impressed that the President has never given up on social security reform, but am incredibly disappointed that it has not been passed. Democrats being in control means to me that it is even less likely now.
Bush is not running in 2008, so at some point Democrats need to stop running against him. If they thwart every effort that is proposed by the President they will be seen as offering nothing but obstructionism and that could just cost them the White House in 2008, regardless of who their candidate is.
I want to hear about the things that have gone right in Iraq, in addition to the huge challenges we face. I want to hear some pressure put on the Democrats who appear with every word and action, to want failure in Iraq. I want to hear the President talk about what ultimate failure in Iraq would mean, and that has nothing to do with whether or not the Democrats would gain a few percentage points in the polls as a result.
What do you want to hear?
Update: Amen to what Matt had to say in the comments section.
What I do not want to hear is all the partisan pre-buttal, rebuttal, scuttle-buttal, etc that will occur before and after. I can hear just fine, and my mind works pretty well. I can listen to the President’s speech without having someone to interpret or spin it for me later.
In fact, instead of listening to the pre-buttal, I took my daughter to gymnastics class, and now I am watching American Idol. (Non-political AI update: I found my season favorite tonight — “Sundance” Head. He will make it to the finals, easily, and America will fall in love with him. Last year my favorites were NC’s own Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler and they didn’t do too shabby.)
Update II: I just checked out John Hawkins live blog. I am right there with him at 9:13.
I am a sap and love the stories in the balcony. I just don’t understand why they were all kept for the end tonight, rather than being spread throughout the speech. All the people who are not political junkies like me have already gone to bed, haven’t they? Seriously, I find it much more effective when these stories are woven into the various passages of the speech. I am not crazy about the laundry list format tonight. Let’s face it though — there is nothing the President could do tonight to earn praise from Democrats. Nothing whatsoever. Still, I would have liked more inspiration and less laundry list.
I didn’t mention this during the speech because I chose not to liveblog it, but I watched on Fox Network, since my television was already tuned there for AI, and I didn’t think Shep Smith would EVER stop talking at the beginning. After the speech, Shep again talked about a whole lot of nothing. I wanted to hear what looked like an extended exchange between the President and Jesse Jackson, Jr., but couldn’t over the pundit chat. Next time I really must remember to change the channel to some commentary free coverage.
Update III: Finally some commentary worth listening to — Rich Lowry pointed out (as I did in the comments) that when the President talked about victory and success in Iraq, Democrats sat on their hands. He said what were standard boilerplate statements about victory were too much for Democrats to applaud.
Update IV: Michelle Malkin has a good roundup and commentary on the speech. (I noticed the eye flutter thing, too, Michelle.)
Uncle Jimbo is pulling no punches. He noticed the eye thing, too. Now I want to hear what he thought of Jim Webb’s speech.
Update V: Mary Katharine has good commentary on the speech. She pointed out something that Fred Barnes said, and that I brought up in a comment tonight, that Jim Webb said the majority of those in the military don’t support the way the war is being fought. I don’t know if that came from another bogus Zogby poll or if they pulled it out of …somewhere else, but what always gets me when I hear Dems say something about what those in the military think or want is that they sure didn’t care what those in the military wanted when polls showed those in the military overwhelmingly preferring Republicans. They sure didn’t care what those in the military wanted when Al Gore was directing lawyers to get their absentee ballots disqualified in 2000. I am sure those reading this can come up with dozens of examples on their own. Excuse me for not being moved by the Democrats’ sudden desire to honor the wishes of the troops.