Can I get a shout-out……

January 24, 2007

If I asked you yesterday what Dikembe Mutumbo, Julie Aigner-Clark, Tommy Raymond, and Wesley Autry have in common, what would you have said?

Interesting group to get the annual presidential shout-out at the State of the Union….

A few quick thoughts while the speech is concluding–
The first half, I thought, was terribly written. I’m in healthcare, I’ve read a bunch of previews of his speech, and I can honestly tell you I have no idea what he was talking about with this health insurance reform piece. My understanding is that it will offer tax cuts for certain people, and will increase taxes on others. Another part of the plan is supposedly taking money from public hospitals and giving it to the uninsured. Kind of silly– nothing like this has a prayer of getting out of Congress.

The other domestic agenda items were odd too. The congressional reform piece sounded nice– certainly no one is going to argue against earmark reform, or against balancing the budget, but it was awfully thin on details.

I thought the portion on foreign policy started strong, and was actually fairly well written, but once it got to the meat of the escalation policy Bush is pushing, it lost all steam. I thought the line, “please give this a chance to work” sounded incredibly weak.

The laundry list items at the end sounded like weak fluff too. Of course everyone wants to eliminate AIDS in Africa, or end the genocide in Darfur, but it’s tough to forget that he has actually been president for the last 6 years. Where’s he been on some of these issues?

All in all– weak, not exactly full of passion (although, like I said, the piece on the global threats of terrorism started strong but ended weakly when it got to Iraq), and a meaningless laundry list that will be ignored.

Remember the days when presidents used to go out to the country to push their agenda outline in the SOTU? Does anyone think Bush has a chance to do that now

Best part of the speech was his touching tribute to Pelosi at the outset. Sounded genuine….

Now onto Webb.