So I ended up watching the whole SOTU speech, which means I will probably yawn my way through work today. No matter; it was a great speech and the reason I couldn’t turn it off was because I, well, I couldn’t turn it off.
President Obama, as promised, did not present a list of what he wanted Congress to do in his final year. He knew from both history and practical experience that it would be a waste of a good speech if he did. So he told them basically what he’d already done, how well the country was doing, and at almost every turn, repudiated the negative and hostile world that the Republican candidates — with one in particular in mind — were presenting as the future. He was deft, humorous when he needed to be (best zinger of the night was the one about Sputnik vis a vis climate change), serious at the right moments, and overall exactly spot on about the mood of the country and what he tried to do about it. He candidly admitted where he thought he came up short, but blamed no one else for his own failings.
As I watched the speech, I was hearkening back to the speech that Mr. Obama gave at the Democratic convention in 2004 in Boston that first brought him to national attention. It was lofty, inspiring, and, like every great performer — and I mean that in the best possible way — left us wanting more as he exited the stage. Reading some of the splutterings of the GOP, it seems as if the president hit his marks flawlessly.
Well done, Mr. President. Bravo.