I don't go because it has become so partisan.8:28 AM, Feb 4, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
One final contribution to the post-mortem on the State of the Union address.
In a question-and-answer session at Stetson University College of Law in Florida this week, Justice Clarence Thomas defended the court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This was, of course, the decision that inspired President Obama to criticize the ruling by addressing the justices directly in the audience.
The vice president's opening gambit.10:35 PM, Jan 29, 2010 • By MICHAEL ANTON
The vice president published an op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal. At first glance, it appears to be a more or less typical example of SOTU follow-up, in which administration officials blanket every available inch of print space and second of airtime pushing this or that component of the “message.” Communications 101. Moreover, it appears to take a large step toward the various critics of the Obama administration's national security policies. Triangulation 101.
But this op-ed is something more. It addresses, head-on, a touchy topic that the administration prefers either to avoid or to speak about in platitudes: The maintenance of America’s nuclear forces in the face of the president’s nuclear free world agenda.
1:21 PM, Jan 28, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Last night, between criticizing Supreme Court justices and insisting that Republican leadership is necessary for his Democratic supermajority to pass anything, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) says Obama forgot to chart a path forward:
"I think the president should have been more clear about a way forward on health care last night," Sen. Mary Landrieu told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday. "I'm hoping in the next week or two he will be, because that's what it's going to take if it's at all possible to get this done."
Plus: WH tries the apocalypse argument.12:00 PM, Jan 28, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Apocalypse will not likely be the result of our reform plan, said the White House spokesperson. When you've reached this argument, you are losing badly. The White House's Dan Pfeiffer made this encouraging pitch for health-care reform today:
“Really the only thing you can do is pass it, implement it, and then let people see that the apocalypse doesn’t come the next day.”
Obama's shopworn State of the Union speech.12:00 AM, Jan 28, 2010 • By FRED BARNES
Haven’t we heard that speech before, practically every word of it? Maybe it was a year ago when President Obama first addressed Congress. Maybe it was during the campaign. Maybe it was at one of those town halls? Maybe Obama can’t help himself. His speeches just insist on sounding the same.
In any case, Obama delivered the least fresh State of the Union address I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard more than 30 of them. It was filled with old ideas, campaign cliches, and frequent use of personal pronoun, “I.” That’s the Obama pattern.
Will Barack Obama finally bring change to Washington?6:13 PM, Jan 27, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
It is my private hope that this evening's speech to a joint session of Congress will be President Obama's final State of the Union address. This is not because of any animosity toward the president, but because I support abolition of the State of the Union address.
Simply stated, it is an almost totally meaningless piece of political theatre which most presidents use to consume broadcast airtime and check all the boxes in their bag of tricks; and in recent years it has grown especially estranged from political reality. Almost as much time is spent on the president's entrance and exit from the House chamber, slapping backs, shaking hands, and exchanging bipartisan banalities with members. And Ronald Reagan, I regret to say, inaugurated the practice of recognizing "heroes" in the visitors' galleries, a ritual which has become almost as prolonged as it is patronizing.
1:28 PM, Jan 27, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
It is on this day that it's important to give your readers "fun facts" about the State of the Union address because, even though it is steeped in the glorious history and tradition of this great nation, let's face it—it's not that fun on its own.