Monday, January 28, 2008

Liveblogging the State of the Union
(Because it's tradition around these parts.)

9:01: On PBS, Ruth Marcus is metaphorizing. The primaries are a "reality show," and people keep getting "voted off the island." ... Where the hell is Mark Shields when you need him?

9:02: Ted Kennedy is looking sharp.

9:03: "The President has left the holding room," says Jim Lehrer.

9:04: Blue tie.

9:06: I love when Members of Congress ask the President for his autograph. Stay classy, guys!

9:06: That was just about the saddest thing I've ever seen at a State of the Union. The President reached out to rub some Congressman's bald head (I'm pretty sure it was Louie Gohmert), but the guy thought he was getting a hug, so he leaned forward and kind of half-hugged the President's midriff for a few seconds, while the President patted him awkwardly on the head.

9:09: That was an awful lot of applause considering that all he's done so far is walk in the door.

9:13: The camera just caught Charlie Rangel scoffing. Good timing, PBS director!

9:15: We're six minutes in and already on our third standing ovation (this time in response to Bush's promise to veto any bill that raises taxes). This is going to be a long night.

9:18: Hillary's pissed that Bush is trying to steal her health-care thunder. Meanwhile, Obama and Ted Kennedy are chatting. Also: want to make Congressional Republicans cheer like they're at a football game? Mention the need for a robust privatized health care industry.

9:20: "Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act. And today, no one can deny its results." Can't argue with that.

9:21: Kennedy is reading studiously. It's a good thing someone gave him a copy of the speech, or he'd clearly be scrolling through email on his Blackberry right now.

9:24: One unidentified Republican stood up to applaud for the inherent greatness of "products that say 'Made in the U.S.A.'" Way to march to the beat of your own drummer, buddy.

9:26: First use of "nuculer." Rangel laughs openly.

9:27: "Let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and reverse the growth of greenhouse gases." That's pretty rich.

9:28: Stephen Breyer seems to have chosen to wear knickerbockers under his robe.

9:30: Bush's judicial nominees will "rule by the letter of the law, not the whim of the gavel." [Cite]

9:31: "Tonight, the armies of compassion continue the march to a new day in the Gulf Coast." Did he write this thing himself?

9:36: That was quite a list of terror attacks he had there, wasn't it? He's like a walking, talking Wikipedia.

9:40: Some Air Force guy in the audience was about 40% asleep, but seemed to realize at the last minute that he was on camera. D'oh!

9:42: Is it just me, or is Pelosi crying?

9:43: There's something seriously perverse about citing an Osama bin Laden propaganda video to support the assertion that The Surge Is Working.

9:46: I'm running pretty low on patience, here. Be more faster!

9:49: I think the entire "Iraqi government is making progress" section was actually just lifted, en masse, from last year's speech.

9:56: "America opposes genocide in Sudan." Oh. Well, good.

10:02: "So long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure, and the state of our union will remain strong." Woohoo!

10:03: I guess you have to respect the man for his willingness to end the speech with jazz hands.

And that's that.

I can't wait until we have an articulate president, so these things aren't so intolerable every year.

[10:05: As Bush walks out, some woman I don't recognize asks for his autograph and says, I swear to God, "You make me proud to be an American." Whoever she is, I sure hope she was being sarcastic.] (Update: It was Cathy McMorris-Rodgers. And no, she was not being sarcastic.)

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