As I sat in stunned silence watching President Obama's State of the Union address, I couldn't help but think back to the classic 1968 James Brown hit that seemed quite appropriate for the occasion. “You're like a dull knife—just ain't cutting. You're just talking loud—and saying nothing.”
Barack Obama's State of the Union address felt a little bit like a letter sent to me by a distant lover. It was filled with promises for fun times in the future if I could just get through these tough times right now. This wasn't a speech to rally me behind the successes of his administration (crickets...) but to gas me up on my hopes for the future. President Obama is testing my love and my loyalty to our union.
President Obama's speech was a call to arms for those seeking bipartisanship. Unfortunately, those looking for regulations of firearms heard not a word about their cause.
"What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow," Obama said to an audience of Washington lawmakers which, for the first time, had Democrats and Republicans seated next to one another.
"We share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled," said the president, referring to the youngest victim of the massacre that left Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with a gunshot wound to the head.
But after that, Obama did not address the issue of gun control, something Mayor Michael Bloomberg strenuously advocated for with a major media push leading up to the speech.
Afterwards, Bloomberg released a statement calling the omission of gun control from the speech "disappointing."
"They say, 'What's your show about?' I say, 'Nothing.'"- Jerry Seinfeld
I was reminded of the Seinfeldian idea, the show about nothing, as I listened to the State of the Union. Don't get me wrong, President Obama said a lot, and some of the things he said I enjoyed hearing, but ultimately it was a speech about nothing.
President Obama did a low energy version of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" when he proclaimed the "worst of the recession is over."
While 44 of the nation's states are looking at a $125 billion dollar shortfall and hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension and health care liabilities, they did not make the president's State of the Union final cut.
He did a great job giving a mixed message to an audience of bipartisan seating. I'm really curious as Senators and Congress go back to their sides of the aisle whether he continues to drive down the middle, or whether there's one half he starts speaking to more.
—Justin Krebs reacting to President Obama's State of the Union address on The Brian Lehrer Show
Last night I watched with 100 of my fellow political junkies as President Obama gave his third State of the Union address. We tweeted along, in earnest, with mostly substantive commentary, though the tweets were laced with wry humor about John Boehner's emotional reaction to Obama's remark about his boyhood and whether Vice President Biden himself was tweeting.
I said on this page yesterday that, for Obama, this speech needed to be a big transformational moment, a speech that would evoke FDR and Kennedy, one that would remind us why we voted for him in the first place.
The build-up to President Obama’s State of the Union Address had suggested he was going to boldly challenge Americans to rise to meet the “Sputnik moment” of our generation. It was a tantalizing claim. Liberals hoped this sense of purpose would justify new investment in jobs, infrastructure and education, despite the worries of deficit hawks. Conservatives looked forward to pro-business policies behind the themes of entrepreneurship and innovation and were intrigued by the tone of American exceptionalism hinted at in the speech’s promotion.
New Yorkers gathered at WNYC's Greene Space on Tuesday night to watch the President's State of the Union address. Every year we get this glimpse into the President's reflections on the previous year and his thoughts on the future. Some of you were excited about the speech, some were worried, some were just curious to hear what he had to say.
We wanted it to feel like you were really there so we captured it on camera with our own version of President Obama.