This Wednesday will be President Obama's first State of the Union address. For a politics geek like me, it's like a championship game or an awards show night. While there is still a lack of fashion critique and entry to the big auditorium softball interviewing, there are plenty of experts on both teams with all sorts of predictions about the final outcome of Wednesday's address.
Though, as of this writing, I haven't found any posting of opinion just yet. So, I'll take a crack at it.
- Saying that the phrase "The state of our union is strong" will be uttered is a bit like saying "the stars are out" at the latest Hollywood love-fest or at my house while I'm watching the "arrivals" part of the awards show.
- Yeah, even I see the 60 degree head swivel the President usually does when he's giving a speech. It's like noticing when someone drops the phrase "you know" into their everyday speech and you've finally discerned it and now "you know" sounds like nails on a chalkboard. If I had my choice of speechgiving off the top of one's head or reading a speech from a Teleprompter in a clear, melodic tone of voice, I'll take the Teleprompter reading. Still, the best sort of speech is the one that comes from the head with bits of improv dropped in so it sounds organized and just a bit personal. I've given improv'd and read aloud speeches and usually feel like I'm only giving half the effort. This address is a big one -- even I would be pacing, memorizing and rehearsing this one as often as humanly possible weeks ahead of time.
- These addresses are usually by the book. In recent years, it's a bit difficult to tell the difference between them and getting an OMG moment out of them is highly unlikely. Same can be said of award shows and championship games. Even the notion of turning the SOTU into a drinking game is getting a bit cliche. Still, even one such game suggested for Wednesday's address might be worth a try. For us 12-steppers, perhaps substituting jalapeño poppers and a sip of milk for each drink will lead all to the same, dreadful conclusion.
I would have been stunned if Obama was able to have pulled off a total recovery of the economy and have ended both wars by now. However, I'm quite worn out by the light touch he has exercised over Congress this past year. While I love a good work relationship with colleagues, he's been apart from his former Senate colleagues long enough that he can now start to be the goal-setter, take more responsibility for setting the legislative tone and navigate progressives/liberals toward having a truly progressive/liberal government.
For now, a healthy amount of skepticism is required to get some kind of grasp of what's going on in D.C. these days. A little music helps, too. I heard this version of the song earlier today on "Feel The Spin" as I was driving home from church. Yeah, there are club versions of this song out there, but it was nice to hear real drums and guitar backing a talented girl singer. I know she's singing about a guy, but I couldn't help hearing the lyric and thinking about how it relates to the upcoming week's world of U.S. politics.
The mark of good art is that it means something different to everyone who experiences it. Enjoy!