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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pre-Game (live updates to come)

When considering what line from the Constitution to use as the subtitle for this blog (ultimately I went with the opening line from Article II, Section 1), one of the runners up was the opening line from Article II, Section 3: “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union.” That quote, of course, refers to the annual State of the Union address that the President gives Congress and the American people, outlining the executive’s legislative plan for the upcoming year. Inevitably, States of the Union also take the time to boast about accomplishments of the administration to that point. This year will be no exception.

Tonight, President Bush will give his seventh and next-to-last State of the Union. He will undoubtedly use this time in front of Congress to speak to the American people and get the country to see his point of view, however narrow many Americans think that point of view is. Rumor has it that he will stress domestic issues such as health care and America’s “addiction to oil.” If he does concentrate on this issue, he’d be ignoring the 900 pound elephant in the room (no, not Dennis Hastert). Iraq is first and foremost on the minds of American people – every poll confirms this via blowout numbers. If you can't stay up for this portion of the speech, I'll just sum it up for you in one sentence: He's going to stress that we need to succeed in Iraq. Maybe this time that will change the minds of the majority of Americans who want out.

After the speech, the Democrats will give the annual oppositional party rebuttal. This year, newly elected Senator from Virginia Jim Webb has been chosen to carry the rebuttal to the American people. I expect Webb’s response to be impressive. The Democrats have lots of issues to take to the people, and for the first time in six years, they seem to have the backing to deliver this message. Webb is a terrific speaker, his son is in Iraq - which fair or not, gives him political cover - and since his party has this newfound political capital, the Democratic response has the potential to be quite stirring.

I’ll close the pre-game talk with this: Be sure to tune in on time tonight. This will be the first time in the history of the country that the U.S. House Sergeant at Arms, when asking the leader of the joint session of Congress for permission for the chief executive to enter the House Chamber, will begin his request by: “Madame Speaker…”

1 comment:

PresidentWebb said...

I am contemplating watching with the sound off and counting how many times they cut to Senators Clinton, Obama, and Kennedy. I also hope they cut to John McCain who will no doubt have the A-Rod face going big time...

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