Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama's State of the Union

Okay, so President Obama has delivered his first Presidential Address (or is that a State of the Union Adress?). The full text is here.

I didn't catch the whole thing, although I checked a few blogs for live-blogging updates.

Ann Althouse's here's a great introductory comment from Palladian:

I'm guessing a bunch of depressing, doom-mongering comments about the economy, an over-polished sound bite that was written by another committee and shoe-horned into the "Not State of The Union" address, and a hell of a lot of ums and errs if he dares to speak extemporaneously.
Neo-Neocon live-blogged as well, and wasn't impressed at all:

Just how does this speech differ from a State of the Union message? I thought it was supposed to be about the economy. It’s all over the place, and loaded with cliches. I wonder why that surprises me.
Vodkapundit "drunk-blogged" it, naturally:

7:05PM Hottest first lady ever? Barring Millard Fillmore in drag, I’d have to say yes ....

8:07PM “We are not quitters.” Speak for yourself, Mr President. I gave up on this thing five minutes in.
Gateway Pundit reports on Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal's GOP response:

Governor Bobby Jindal was fantastic tonight. He delivered the Republican rebuttal to the Democrat's irresponsible spending plan.Too bad, the governor's website is down from all the traffic.
More later, dear readers ...


Benjamin Blattberg said...

Maybe Jindal's site is down with the traffic of adulation and corrections.

(The one false thing I noticed was that Jindal mentioned the $8 billion for a high-speed railway between Las Vegas and Disneyworld. Oh, it's true that there's a provision for $8bn for high-speed rail, but it's not set for LV to LA; it's available to the Secretary of Transportation for "projects that support the development of intercity high speed rail service.")

Benjamin Blattberg said...

On second thought, I might have left out "adulation"--the chatter I'm reading (which may not be all the chatter there is) is not positive, with a general consensus that Jindal comes off either totally out of his league (Obama is Reagan-esque, according to Krauthammer) or like Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock.

(Which makes the score, if you're counting at home: Tina Fey 2, GOP Governors 0.)

A selection of responses: David Brooks, asked how he thought Jindal did, said "Uh, not so well. ... In a moment when only the federal government is actually big enough to do stuff, to just ignore all that and just say "government is the problem, corruption, earmarks, wasteful spending," it's just a form of nihilism. It's just not where the country is, it's not where the future of the country is. There's an intra-Republican debate. Some people say the Republican Party lost its way because they got too moderate. Some people say they got too weird or too conservative. He thinks they got too moderate, and so he's making that case. I think it's insane, and I just think it's a disaster for the party. I just think it's unfortunate right now."

And the discussion at Fox went like this (via Think Progress):

Brit Hume: (first he talks about the disadvantage of coming second before noting) “The speech read a lot better than it sounded. This was not Bobby Jindal’s greatest oratorical moment.”

Nina Easton: “The delivery was not exactly terrific.”

Krauthammer: "[Jindal] tried the best he could.”

Juan Williams: "And I don't think he did it. ... It came off as amateurish, and even the tempo in which he spoke was sing-songy. He was telling stories that seemed very simplistic and almost childish.”

Andrew Sullivan was also unimpressed, not just with Jindal's style, but with the policy as well: "And there was a patronizing feel to it as well - as if he were talking to kindergartners .... And really: does a Republican seriously want to bring up Katrina? ... It was also odd for Jindal to keep talking about the need for tax cuts - when Obama just announced a massive tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. He gave no alternative proposal on the financial collapse; and tried to attack government spending simply because it's government spending."

Sullivan did, however, find one good thing to say about Jindal's response: "But give him his due: he did in the end concede that the GOP currently has a credibility problem on the fiscal issues they are now defining themselves with."

I'll give the last word to Nate Silver: "If it sounds like Jindal is targeting his speech to a room full of fourth graders, that's because he is. They might be the next people to actually vote for Republicans again."

Norm said...

Geez, look past your nose. The fact that many more citizens know who Jindal is and how to spell his name is a huge success for him.

He will have plenty of additional chances to create a positive image. I enjoyed his speech.

We all know that PT Barnum was correct when he said that a sucker is born every minute. So I would love to meet the suckers who believe that the mag-lev train will actually cost 8 billion dollars. I guess, by the time it is done, the cost will go over 20 billion. All paid for by our grandkids....boy, are they going to be pissed.

AmPowerBlog said...

Norm: I actually just posted on this. Lots of conservatives are having problems with Jindal. I love his values, but on a couple of issues he's off...