Charlie Cook is way sick of the SOTU

Writing for National Journal, Charlie Cook drops the affable political supernerd persona he normally wears and tells us what he really thinks about State of the Union addresses. As in:

The president’s speechwriters will have started out to craft an important and thoughtful speech, determined to avoid having their boss deliver another really boring monologue that is both a laundry list of what the president wants to do and what he would do if the opposition party and special-interest groups rolled over and played dead for the rest of the year. But by the end of the process, despite the best of intentions, it will very likely sound like all of the others. Journalists will solemnly pronounce that this speech is critical for President Obama because of blah, blah, and blah, proclaiming that this State of the Union address is everything but life or death. Then, as soon as the speech is finished, media sycophants, members of the president’s party, and ideological brethren will say that it was a momentous address, one that truly rivaled Lincoln’s at Gettysburg, while the opposition party and its toadies will declare it so wrongheaded and the delivery so bad that they wonder if something might be wrong with the president.

Cook also mocks the several dozen members of Congress who apparently have nothing better to do than spend the whole day saving a seat for themselves on the center aisle so they can be seen on TV greeting Obama on his way down the aisle. Adds Charlie: “Unsaid is that for many of these lawmakers, it is the only personal interaction with the president they will ever have.”

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 01/28/2014 - 12:08 pm.

    SOTU night lets politicians be their most rediculous

    The SOTU speech has been turned into a meaningless occasion for politicians to show just how shallow they really are. I still can’t get the image of Michele Bachmann hanging on the neck of George W. Bush out of my mind. One side speaks and the other side is almost required to speak to the contrary even if it was originally their idea. One side stands up and applauds and then there is a slow pan to the other side sitting there checking their iPhones. Some even resort to shouting at the President. After the speech they all rush off to the awaiting TV cameras in the hallway to voice their party’s talking points that are bound to inspire everyone. Then there is the opposition party’s response or in the case of the party that doesn’t currently have a leader, their responses. The Republican responses over the last three speeches are memorable however. There was the under hydrated Marco Rubio, the currently indicted Bob McDonald, and the unforgettable Bobby Jindal. This trio has left unforgettable memories of the SOTU responses from the past. There is something to look forward to – who is going to blow it this time.

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/28/2014 - 12:07 pm.

    Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wa), designated responder, in recent campaign literature (dec 2013):

    “This is a Democrat party that has no interest in working with Republicans — one that’s openly hostile to American values and the Constitution,”

    I wonder if she is taking the torch from Ms. Bachmann?

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