[Update: The portion Glenn Reynolds referred to in his post-speech post (thanks for the link, by the way) is located at the beginning and the end of the live-blog portion of this post (update III below) and the network was ABC.]
I have not yet decided whether or not to liveblog the speech. It will depend in part on whether or not my kids are in bed yet. [Update: Obviously liveblogging has commenced below.] Please feel free to use this thread to discuss the speech and liveblog it yourselves if you would like. From the advance speech excerpts I have seen, the one that stands out to me is regarding America’s dependence on oil. I have little doubt that the speech will be a winner.
What almost certainly won’t be a winner is the post-speech “analysis.” A few things I will be surprised if I don’t hear from the network pundits: that Bush is sugarcoating the total disaster that exists in Iraq, that Bush does not fully grasp the problems many working men and women face everyday… blah, blah, blah…Jack Abramoff…culture of corruption…recitations of all the polls showing low support for Bush…Jack Abramoff…that Bush doesn’t like black people (but not in those words)…Jack Abramoff… blah, blah, blah…that Bush only included certain points to pander to specific groups that don’t like him… and last but not least, Jack Abramoff.
Jack Abramoff might just be the new Halliburton.
Update: The quote I referenced above is already the banner at Drudge, “America is addicted to oil.” When I read the advance excerpts that was the one quote that jumped out at me immediately. It will be interesting to see the reaction in the room to that line.
Update II: Bruce Kesler conducted an informal focus group of his own with his copy of advance excerpts from the speech. His results are interesting and encouraging. I suspect that what he found was discovered by the White House well in advance of this speech. I will be listening to the speech now to identify the passages directed at the Kesler playgroup focus group.
La Shawn Barber is planning to liveblog the illegal immigration portion of the speech.
I love this 16 Word SOTU speech. Link via Michelle.
UPDATE III (Live-blog begins): The speech has not even yet begun and already on ABC two references to the President’s horrible approval ratings, inept reaction to Katrina, disaster in Iraq, Abramoff scandal…blah, blah, blah. These people are TOO predictible. Now they are discussing Sheehan as a security concern. She has been arrested for trying to get a banner into the speech. Forget the speech, the coverage on this network will be poll numbers, Sheehan, doom and gloom. Where is the flippin’ remote?
9:12 – So far the best picture is of the Supreme Court justices with Roberts and Alito in robes. Thank you Mr. President.
Beginning with tribute to Coretta Scott King seems pretty smart and appropriate.
9:18 – Sheehan has been arrested. More about Sheehan at the SOTU in the post below.
9:22 – On Iraq
“WE ARE WINNING”
Decisions will be made by military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, DC.
“Hindsight is not wisdom”
“Second guessing not a strategy”
“stand behind American military in this vital mission”
“those who know the costs also know the stakes”
I am LOVING this speech!
9:26 Sobbing now (me, not Bush). Don’t forget the sacrifice of America’s military families.
9:37 – I am really loving this speech. The portion about not waiting for another attack and the lesson Bush is giving to learn from Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan against isolationism is great.
9:39 – The Economy. Preach it, Mr. President.
McCain is clapping for the line “make the tax cuts permanent". Maybe he should have voted for all of them in the first place instead of engaging in “tax cuts for the rich talk.”
9:43 – Absolutely the best piece of theater: the Democrats, led by Hillary, hooting and hollering in celebration that they didn’t act to save social security. Followed by the ultimate slapdown from President Bush pointing out that the problem is NOT going away and that it is too important for partisan politics. Do the Democrats feel about an inch high right about now? Of course they don’t, but they should. Thank God for this man who keeps pushing what I would like to see for my kids, social security reform, in spite of polls and politics.
9:49 – I still cringe everytime I hear him say “nucular". Since I am sure it really annoys all his critics, though, it makes me grin, too. The energy portion of the speech sounds good. I haven’t a clue whether or not any of it will work, but it sounds good.
10:03 – speech just ended. I thought it was good, but not great. My absolute favorite part, and the part getting the most discussion in the comments section, was when he got the Democrats to cheer the defeat of social security reform. He had some big ideas. He was extremely gracious.
Charlie Gibson is an idiot and a jerk seriously misguided (I edited that last line because it sounded too Kosian when I re-read it) – when his cohost (Elizabeth Vargas) said the President put his hand out across the aisle, Gibson said that yeah he did reach out to Democrats and then he wondered if the President had done it four years ago if all this partisanship could have been avoided. What a total idiot Gibson is. Bush let Kennedy write the education bill for goodness sake and then invited the guy to view a movie at the White House. That is above and beyond, baby. What did Charlie want from the President? Idiot! Ugh. Now he is saying most of the speech could have been given verbatim by Bill Clinton because of the tone. Clinton was THE most partisan President EVER. Seriously, I have to find that remote. (I am not too lazy to change the channel manually, if I don’t use the remote it messes up the satellite.)
I really wish the President had hammered the Dems on the spectacle that has been the judicial confirmation process. I guess he didn’t think it was necessary, but I think he should have made the point.
Update IV: John Hinderaker asks if anyone was watching.
11:00 Rudy is on Hannity and Colmes.
Looking back at my live blog, I want to change my assessment of the speech as good, but not great, to good overall and great in parts. The foreign policy part of the speech was excellent, great, kickass – I loved it.
I think much of the rest of the speech was almost too bipartisan. I think he should have pointed out the horrible treatment Alito got, not in an “in your face” way, but in veiled terms, after praising Alito’s character and qualifications. There are other places in the speech that I wish Bush had been a bit less gracious, but I am sure that his way was the smart way to go. Heck, look at Bruce Kesler’s playground focus group (referenced above). Heck, it sounds like the President was telling them exactly what they wanted to hear in terms of tone. Good speech overall, with some portions of it reaching levels of greatness. That is my final word on it. Unless something else occurs to me.
Update V: You absolutely HAVE to read Jon Ham’s live blog of the speech. It is perceptive and smart, but it is also hilarious (Pelosi “stalking” the President as he entered the room – what a perfect description). It was his first live-blog attempt and it is some of the best live-blogging I have seen.
11:40 – Wacky Wes Clark is on Hannity and Colmes saying that he has been told by some soldiers about some wrongdoing by our troops against Iraqi civilians. He says he is not saying it is our policy, but he says “some soldiers” have told him some of that has happened over there.
Mary Katharine Ham has a great take on the Democrat’s response – heads might just roll.
I agree 1000 percent with Hugh Hewitt’s take on the point made in the speech (and by Democratic response)about which party is serious about national security.
John in Carolina posted about one of the best pundit lines of the night from Fred Barnes.
Here’s a Marine’s take on the Democratic response.
Roger has an idea for a great political ad in the comments section.
I was being really good by not saying anything out loud about something distracting in the Democrat’s response, but Ian wasn’t so well-behaved in the title of this post. Emily Yee noticed too, and even has an eyebrow roundup.
12:20 – On CNN (Larry King), Bill Richardson just said he was troubled that the President was so uncompromising on the issue of terrorist surveillance (NSA intercepts). Someone please save that tape in case he runs for President. Thank God that the President won’t compromise on tracking terrorists and listening in on their phone calls. Have Democrats not figured out yet that the public understands this issue and it isn’t some budget dispute over increasing education spending by five percent or ten percent, it is a matter of life and death and there is no room for compromise on this issue.
-- Lorie Byrd