I watched the first several minutes of the SotU and then listened to it on the radio while I ran some errands. There was a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’, (as my dad would say), in our car, much derision and general grumpiness with a dash of genuine disbelief. I missed all of the nonverbal responses from folks like Sam Alito, which kind of took away from the experience.
Obama wastes so much of my time, pre-empting Simpsons reruns and the like, and yet he never really says anything. He was supposed to be the next Cicero, wasn’t he? He’s arrogant, angry and completely substance-free. I’m so glad that we’ve got another three years of this.
Steyn pretty much summed it up at the Corner last night.
It sounds like an all-purpose speech for President Anyone: We’ve met here in good times and bad, war and peace, prosperity and depression, Shrove Tuesday and Super Bowl Sunday, riding high in April, shot down in May. We’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing. Each time we find ourselves flat on our face, we pick ourselves up and get back in the race. That’s life, pause for applause . . .
There’s no sense that, even as platitudinous filler, it arises organically from who this man is. As mawkish and shameless as the Clinton SOTUs were, they nevertheless projected a kind of authenticity. With Obama, the big-picture uplift seems unmoored from any personal connection — and he’s not good enough to make it real. Same with all those municipal name-checks.
When he does say anything firm and declarative — the pro-business stuff at home, the pro-freedom stuff abroad — it’s entirely detached from any policy, any action, so it plays to the Bob Herbert trust issue. And, when he moves from the gaseous and general to the specific, he becomes petty and and thin-skinned and unpresidential. And, unlike the national security feints and 101 Historical Allusions For Public Speakers stuff, the petulance is all too obviously real.
I really couldn’t have said it any better myself.