Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama's 1st State of the Union Address to Congress

I was at a Hockey game during the speech itself, otherwise we would have probably tried out that new liveblogging software. It's the first State of the Union I've missed live in quite a few years, although since it wasn't technically the State of the Union I guess my streak is still alive. But thanks to the magic of the internets none of this matters and I was able to youtube both Obama's speech and Jindal's brilliance that followed.

A few highlights from Obama's speech:
  • I know this has been mentioned, but after the last 8 years I consider it a highlight to have a president who can form complete sentences, and regardless of anything else, that was nice.
  • "I intend to hold these banks fully accountable for the assistance they receive, and this time, they will have to clearly demonstrate how taxpayer dollars result in more lending for the American taxpayer. This time, CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over."
  • "This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes. In the last eight years, premiums have grown four times faster than wages. And in each of these years, 1 million more Americans have lost their health insurance. It is one of the major reasons why small businesses close their doors and corporations ship jobs overseas. And it is one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of our budget. Given these facts, we can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold. We can't afford to do it."
  • "History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age. In the wake of war and depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history. And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world"
  • "I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort -- because nobody messes with Joe."
  • Setting everyone up for another stimulus bill was important. The sooner the media(and idiots like Ben Nelson/Susan Collins et al.) wrap their minds around the fact that almost all experts agreed that the last one wouldn't be enough the better.
I saw Bobby Jindal speak a year or so ago, and was relatively impressed. Not sure what happened between now and then, but his rebuttal was truly awful. As atrios points out in fairness to Jindal, it didn't seem that much worse than Kaine's rebuttal last year, just with more lying. Although one of the best speeches I've seen in the last 5 years was Jim Webb's rebuttal, so it is possible do one of these things without sucking.

I thought Obama's speech went well, and Jindal's bombed, but since I watched them on youtube I didn't really get the sense of how the media reaction.

Your thoughts?


  1. Watching Jindal, I also found myself underwhelmed. The media was busy talking up the fact that this was his "coming out party," and I think the only thing all that press succeeded in doing was creating expectations that he was never going to meet.

    I have to admit that I was only casually paying attention after I realized that he couldn't compare in the slightest to the speaking ability of Obama, but is seemed to me that the Republican Party's message to reach out to young voters and minorities largely was the same message they've had for 8+ years since I've started casually following politics. I can only assume that they were hoping that repackaging their same ideas in the form of a young, prominent minority figure would serve to motivate those groups, and honestly I can't see that working at all.

    Furthermore, if the republican leadership thinks that their base, the conservative *real* America, is going to rally behind a man that clearly comes off as an affluent, immigrant businessmen, I think they are again sorely mistaken. If this is what we have to look forward to in 2012, I have high hopes for an Obama re-election.

  2. dude, even fox news war ripping on his 'style'....

    I was shocked also, I've seen him give dazzling public performances...

  3. I just realized who Jindal reminds me of. Kenneth the page from 30 rock.

  4. huh. and apparently I am not the only person to think this. it was in the related videos when I went to watch Jindal's speech. although i am not sure why since it is clearly not a video.