Live blogging the State of the Union

Final UPDATE for tonight: A perfectly fine speech by the president, as long as you weren’t looking for evidence that he’s taken some lessons from the public reaction to his agenda. He is going to give it — and by “it” I mean everything he’s put on the table over the past year — one more try. He is either doubling down on the idea that Americans in their heart of hearts want what he’s offering, or he’s serious about being willing to be a one-term president if that’s what it takes to get his agenda passed.

He basically told Democrats to fall in line behind him and be ready for a fight. The next few months, or even weeks, will determine whether they really have his back.

Bob McDonnell also did a good job in his response. No one will be starting a “Draft McDonnell” movement for 2012, but it’s a good move by the Republicans to put some fresh talent on TV screens.

UPDATE at 10:46 p.m. — McDonnell is smart to talk about common ground, about not wanting the status quo but not wanting the Democrats’ plans, either. Smart also to mention Virginia becoming a leader in offshore oil and gas exploration — and Obama administration policies that stand in the way.

Good decision to mention common ground on education reform, crediting Obama (not in so many words) for supporting the long-time conservative plank of school choice.

I didn’t realize McDonnell’s daughter has served in Iraq. Good for the GOP to have found a speaker with a soldier in the family — there aren’t enough politicians on either side of the aisle these days who can say that.

Quotes Scott Brown about using taxpayer money to defeat terrorists, not protect them — that line will be used a lot in this year’s campaigns.

Equality of opportunity, not outcomes. Good. He’s hitting all the right ideological points without coming across as ideological or falling into some of the populist traps that Obama and Democrats are setting for Republicans. A bit stiff, maybe — though not nearly stepping into Bobby Jindal territory — but not ideological.

A solid response — it was smart by the GOP to have it given by a (new) governor rather than a denizen of the Beltway, and the decision looks even better after Obama’s use of Washington as a pejorative, as some talking head tonight put it.

Also, I hope the minority party, whichever it is at the time, always gives the SOTU response before an audience from now on — it makes the speech work a lot better imo.

UPDATE at 10:30 p.m. — OK, it appears Obama did mention “Don’t ask, don’t tell” after all. So, there’s an olive branch to one core constituency. Not a lot in there for labor unions, though. Here’s the GOP response from McDonnell.

UPDATE at 10:27 p.m. — Switching to Fox News. Juan Williams makes the point that it was inappropriate for the president to scold the Supreme Court, in the justices’ presence, for their recent campaign finance decision. I agree. And it’s a bit rich for a man who declined public financing of his campaign in 2008 to complain about money in politics.

UPDATE at 10:21 p.m. — Did I miss the call to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell” as was reported beforehand to be part of the speech? I didn’t hear it.

UPDATE at 10:19 p.m. — Between his earlier comment about Democrats “run[ning] for the hills” and his talk now about doing what’s best for the next generation rather than the next election, it’s clear the president doesn’t think unpopularity back home is an excuse for a Blue Dog or other moderate Democrat to vote against his agenda. This is not a moving-to-the-center speech. It is a dig-in-the-heels-and-give-it-one-more-heave speech.

UPDATE at 10:04 p.m. — The president is getting his daddy voice again about bipartisanship, leading instead of playing short-term politics, not engaging in a permanent campaign. All of which sounds nice, but makes you wonder whether his speechwriters are sequestered from watching their own boss in action the other 364 days of the year.

UPDATE at 9:59 p.m. — Here’s a quintessential Obama straw man on the right’s approach to the economy: “If we just stop making investments in our people, extend tax cuts, especially for the wealthiest people, cut regulation and keep the status quo on health care, everything will get better.” To be fair, he did follow this line by talking about a “credibility gap”…

UPDATE at 9:53 p.m. — He didn’t linger on health care very long. And the invitation for anyone to step forward with better ideas rings a little hollow at this point. But in case he is interested, Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) reintroduced his bill today

UPDATE at 9:49 p.m. — Doubling our exports, by the way, would mean an extra $1 trillion-plus a year. Would that it were so.

UPDATE at 9:45 p.m. — On health care: “I didn’t choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt. And by now it should be clear that I didn’t take on health care because it’s good politics.” Good to hear the president has kept his sense of humor.

UPDATE at 9:39 p.m. — Climate change before health care? So much for moving the agenda toward the center.

“Even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy is the right thing to do.” Energy efficiency — OK, maybe, depending on how it’s done. Clean energy — we may have our next bubble! (See Germany and Spain, recent history of.)

We will double our exports in five years. Really? DOUBLE them? In five years?

Why do I think making “our trading partners play by the rules” will take precedence over new trade bills? Although, the mention of deals with South Korea and Colombia is a bit reassuring.

UPDATE at 9:34 p.m. — The president calls for a new jobs bill, same as the last jobs bill, a.k.a. the stimulus — clean energy tax credits, lending programs for small business, etc. (So much for even the meager “spending freeze,” I suppose.) What I hear from people who watch bank lending is that the lack of lending is a question of demand, not supply. I guess we can shove more money down people’s throats whether they want to borrow it or not. We have such a great track record on that…

UPDATE at 9:23 p.m. — He goes straight for the anti-bank populism, and a reference to his proposed fee on big banks: “If these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.” But if this is about getting our money back, why are the banks that have already paid back their bailout money paying the fee? He would have a stronger — not necessarily winning yet, but stronger — argument if he didn’t cast this as payback.

Next up: a defense of the stimulus bill. “Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster.” I’d like to know the names of those right-wing economists.

UPDATE at 9:16 p.m. — Well, he’s not wasting any time getting to what’s wrong, is he? “The worst of the storm has passed, but the devastation remains.” And yet another line about “answer[ing] history’s call.”

UPDATE at 9:01 p.m. — The GOP response will be given by new Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. There had been a push for the new senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, to do it. I think it’s wise not to put him on the spot so soon.

UPDATE at 8:52 p.m. — Well, here we go. Nancy Pelosi is saying something, but the folks on CNN aren’t letting us hear what. Formalities, presumably, especially since Vice President Biden is talking now, too…

Fortunately for my concentration, but otherwise unfortunately, Georgia is losing badly at Florida tonight.

We’ll give the live blogging thing a shot during tonight’s speech — I’m putting up this place-holder a few hours early in hopes some of you will see it and join in tonight.

See you back here then!

38 comments Add your comment

Democrats are Corrupt, Repukes are Lying Scum

January 27th, 2010
7:58 pm

Mark Bittner

January 27th, 2010
8:07 pm

Let the games begin.


January 27th, 2010
8:09 pm

Can’t wait to see Obama’s poll numbers drop even further.

George Bush laugh: Heh heh heh….


January 27th, 2010
8:53 pm

I…….don’t think the president is going to win over America with this.

Obama to call for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal, adviser says


January 27th, 2010
9:06 pm


Chris Broe

January 27th, 2010
9:18 pm

Big Bank fees. Talk about a house divided.

Chris Broe

January 27th, 2010
9:22 pm

He got a laugh across the aisle with an aside! (about tax cuts)

Chris Broe

January 27th, 2010
9:23 pm

McCain sure looks grim.

Obama calls for a new jobs bill. Everybody is standing and applauding!

Al Franken just gave Leiberman the stink eye. Oh, this is getting good.


January 27th, 2010
9:25 pm

what an idiot, and his 2 chronies too

Chris Broe

January 27th, 2010
9:30 pm

I’d like to deliver the state of the blog message…

Good evening, partisans, courtesans, and you know who you are’s. The state of the blog is improved, but there is a long way to go. Tucker’s blog took a recent civil turn, as did Bookman’s. Sometimes getting rid of just one contributor, the correct one, can make all the difference in the world. The fate of most blogs is that one or two anonymous IDs gang bang the host and hold the other commenters hostage to hate speak, racism, threats and death wishes. It only takes a couple of pundits to take the fun out of blogging.

There are still several commenters to go, but kudos for the late turn of events. Now on to specific improvements in the use of obnoxious and obsolete terms that just wont die.

On the issue of healthcare, use of the word “moron” is down 35% from just six months ago. On the issue of education, use of the word “libtard, and “wingnut” is down an astonishing 60%. Partisanship? The use of the words “wanker”, “nimrod” and “butthead” are off a satisfying 35%.

So, the list goes on, with few exceptions, the overall state of the blog is more civil. The exceptions being, during any debate about taxes, the economy or big government, the word “idiot” is up a distressing 250%.

But overall the state of the blog is good.

Mr. Nobody

January 27th, 2010
9:36 pm

I just threw up in my mouth…

Red Foreman

January 27th, 2010
9:37 pm

Presbo and his cast of clowns…cant wait for 2010 and 2012 elections…Power back to the people…down with the demos!!!!!!!!


January 27th, 2010
9:37 pm

Mr Nobody…good…need some water!

Speak OUR President!!!!


January 27th, 2010
9:41 pm

RED FOREMAN……please do not hold our breathe!!!!!!!!


January 27th, 2010
9:57 pm

Lies Lies Lies and a smirking Pelosi.


January 27th, 2010
9:59 pm


January 27th, 2010
10:01 pm

So far..not much has changed for me or my opinion….It is jsut to partisan and costly


January 27th, 2010
10:06 pm

This Ivey League Community Organizer is firm on his agenda and waging war on America and our hree things: 1) The US Constitution, 2) The Bill of Rights and certainly NOT last…the Holy Bible.

From there, we get Liberty and Truth, for all…not just selected ‘groups’ of folks who simply want things their way from their selfish little world.


January 27th, 2010
10:10 pm

We need to rebuild Washington, not Haiti…


January 27th, 2010
10:11 pm

If he gets half of what he has said he wants to do done, then he has ben a very effective president.

Mark Bittner

January 27th, 2010
10:18 pm

He had the same laundry list of ‘want to dos’ last year when he had a fillibuster-proof Congress and didn’t accomplish a thing. Aspirations are nice but worthless without action. And now the first quarter of the Obama presidency draws to a close and we’ll be right back with the start of the second quarter. Our score is helium-filled politicos 1, the American People 0.


January 27th, 2010
10:21 pm

what a lame-ass prez!


January 27th, 2010
10:35 pm

I have no problem with what the president is saying.

Funny that what most people don’t understand is that the president is basically at the mercy of Congress. He can propose a bunch of legislation to bring all his promises come true, but he’s at the mercy of partisan Democrats and Republicans, especially in the Senate, who want to play political games rather than do what’s right. And that’s the fault of us, the American people, that elected those Congress members in the first place!


January 27th, 2010
11:11 pm

Well, Chris Mattews has become the biggest dumb a$$ in all of tv.

“I forgot that Obama was black” – Chris Matthews.

No wonder PMSNBC is tanking.

Michael H. Smith

January 27th, 2010
11:12 pm

Funny he announced he had issued an executive order that overrode that unmerciful Senate vote rendering their political games null and void by naming Senators’ Conrad and Gregg to a Commission on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Now the left cries, “Obama caves to the right!”

The poor comrades are taking it rather hard. Did you say something Comrade Cynthia?

Michael H. Smith

January 27th, 2010
11:18 pm

Chris Matthews has become? I thought he arrived along time ago, as in has been. Admittedly, with Keith bathtub boy Olbermann around it’s hard to make that distinction anymore.

Michael H. Smith

January 27th, 2010
11:30 pm

What the Presidents is saying is not the problem, it is what he is meaning when he says it.

Beware, words often have different meanings. Mouths say one thing and ears hear another thing.

All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest… lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie…

Simon and Garfunkel – The Boxer


January 28th, 2010
12:35 am

so naive yet condescending. pompous even…His rebuke of the supreme court was far more shocking and inappropriate than the “you lie.”
would that i could rescind my vote!

Hoax and chains

January 28th, 2010
12:45 am

I hope we can survive these idiots. COME, NOVEMBER, COME SOON.

Mr. T

January 28th, 2010
2:17 am

I can tell he hit a home run with Wingnut’s lame *ss reaction. He nailed it and most of you Fix News Stooges are in the corner right now sucking your thumbs. LMAO! Loved how he called out the sit on your hands Repukes.

Hard Right Hook

January 28th, 2010
8:06 am

So, Mr. T, were you so enthralled that you forgot that he was black, like Pissy Chissy Matherws did last night?

Home run? Hardly. He fouled off several pitches, ran the count full and struck out. Demeaning the Supreme Court on National TV is not a good move, and he’s thankfully not in tonights line-up.

He’s a legend in his own mind.


January 28th, 2010
8:30 am


I agree wholeheartedly with your posting. Unfortunately, there are so many bloggers who are uninformed and are happy to remain uninformed.

Michael H. Smith,

I hope you are signing under a pseudo, because I would hate that you are willing to put your name to something so completely wrong. President Obama did not say the statement you have attributed to him.
Funny he announced he had issued an executive order that overrode that unmerciful Senate vote rendering their political games null and void by naming Senators’ Conrad and Gregg to a Commission on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Now the left cries, “Obama caves to the right!”

He said, “I’ve called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can’t be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.”

As you can see, your statement is totally off base. But, I guess you think the bloggers are not intelligent enough to know that your statement was wrong, and would believe your nonsense.

at he was willing to


January 28th, 2010
9:08 am

Osama..I mean Obama makes me sick, what an incompetent and stupid dufus. On the campaign road again.


January 28th, 2010
10:06 am

Obama has had 60 votes in the senate and well over the majority in the house. The Dems could have done anything they wanted that is the fact/truth.

They didn’t do anything because they wanted Republican by in on all their plans. Not for bipartisanship but for political cover. Pushing through health care and Cap & Trade by themselves would put them at high risk when/if it failed. Without the republicans they would have had no options to turn to when they needed to give us excuses. The republicans played this smart. For Obama and the Dems to say the republicans are a party of “NO” and obstructionist when they could have passed anything they wanted is simply a lie and a political diversion played to give him/them cover.


January 28th, 2010
10:06 am

Hey TR,

That is the way most of the folks on this blog and the far right operate – take a quote, change a word or two, or just make something up and then push their lies forward. No regard for the actual quote, no pretence of actually understand the quote and having an open, logical debate about it – just focus on saying no to anything the opposition offers and the country be damned. Pathetic and sad.


January 28th, 2010
10:34 am

I think a Obama is a great president… he’s got a good plan to fix the mess that he inhereted from the previous administration. Give the man some credit and your support and prayers, he doing the best he can…after all he won the election fair and square.


January 28th, 2010
11:00 am

Obama’s socialistic agenda is a metastasizing cancer striking the very heart, soul, mind, body and spirit of America.

Michael H. Smith

January 28th, 2010
6:42 pm

T.R. what are you smoking man. I’m right on target with what the President said, not what you and leftwing WTF believe.

As you posted it, blinded one:

“So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.”