Presidential Seal
Presidential Seal

The State of the Union Address is tonight. The speech will run about an hour and 15 minutes with a little time built in for applause. Feel free to comment on points being made. The is President Obama’s first State of the Union Address.

The one and only time I attended the State of the Union Address I was in awe of the raw power in the room. I enjoy reliving that special night. Who is not there? There is always someone who isn’t there and I cannot remember who it is.

88 Thoughts to “State of the Union Address 1/27/10”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    I don’t know about y’all, but I dig a good Auto Worker’s Union meeting!!

  2. Emma, I wouldn’t doubt that unions did play a part in /democrat defeat in MA. Unions have different power in the northeast than they do here in Virginia. Any time there is closed shop and collective bargaining, unions have much more power.

    Did you follow Coakley election closely? I did not. But I question why Republicans keep saying she was arrogant. I would think they would be happy with her. If Democrats were mad because of her arrogance, I could understand that. I haven’t heard a peep out of them on the subject.

    A

  3. For starters, Obama did not admonish the Supreme Court. It was a 5-4 decision. He expressed concern and called for legislation. Now that rules out both him and the Supremes. As for Alito, he should not have responded. I am glad he just moved his lips and didn’t call out. But of course everyone knows that Justices are supposed to be non-political entities.

    We should all be concerned when unions or corporations are treated as individuals. I would prefer they not have any dealings in politics but alas…they do.

    As for the Unions having a seat at the table over health care…what on earth makes you think that the insurance companies have your best interest in mind? K Street is literally hopping with insurance company lobbiests. The air is thick with them. I think I trust the unions more than I do the insurance companies. As far as I am concerned, it is like the fox guarding the hen house to have them in the mix.

    Hello, I suggest you do a little research about the powers a union have in this state. I think you might sleep better at night once you realize how very little power they have here in VA or int he rest of the south. Check out why the south thrived and cities like Atlanta, and the Carolina cities became boomtowns while the Northeast and the rustbelt crumbled.

  4. GainesvilleResident

    Just my take on the Coakley and why it was said she was arrogant. I don’t think that’s the right word – but she just ran from the point of view that she was a shoe-in for the seat, (that any Democrat was a shoe-in basically). I think arrogant isn’t really the right word, but I have trouble finding a good word to express the way she was.

    It matters not really what word was used. The fact is, that a lot of independents, and many Democrats, for whatever reason, chose to cross over and pull the lever for the Republican. I’m sure there’s a lot of debate for exactly why that was, by my own opinion was it was to some extent, a referendum on the dissatisfaction about the way healthcare reform was gone about. I’m not saying it was a vote against healthcare reform, but it was a vote against it being in its current form at the very least. It was the dissatisfaction of the Democrats not allowing reasonable debate on it, and not attempting to allow a bi-partisan healthcare reform solution, and rushing it through Congress basically.

    That’s just my opinion, and I’m sure many others will disagree.

    In any event, what’s done is done, and now Congress will be forced to come up with a completely bi-partisan healthcare reform, and that should be a good thing. Healthcare reform will hopefully come out stronger as a result, which will be better for everyone.

  5. A PW County Resident

    Moon-howler :
    Did you follow Coakley election closely? I did not. But I question why Republicans keep saying she was arrogant. I would think they would be happy with her. If Democrats were mad because of her arrogance, I could understand that. I haven’t heard a peep out of them on the subject.
    A

    Actually, the charge that Mrs. Coakley assumed victory and did not work as hard to win came from the democrats in the last days of the campaign as they were trying to characterize a possible Brown victory as a result of her campaigning rather than dissatisfaction with the direction of the country. That is where the arrogance issue came up not from republicans.

  6. Elena

    Has anyone here read what Sandra Day OConnor has surmised about the flood gates and our judicial system? Very interesting, you may want to do a google. She sees special interest having too much influence in the elections of judges.

  7. GainesvilleResident

    A PW County Resident :

    Moon-howler :
    Did you follow Coakley election closely? I did not. But I question why Republicans keep saying she was arrogant. I would think they would be happy with her. If Democrats were mad because of her arrogance, I could understand that. I haven’t heard a peep out of them on the subject.

    Actually, the charge that Mrs. Coakley assumed victory and did not work as hard to win came from the democrats in the last days of the campaign as they were trying to characterize a possible Brown victory as a result of her campaigning rather than dissatisfaction with the direction of the country. That is where the arrogance issue came up not from republicans.

    Thanks for posting that. Your explanation actually sounds logical and makes a lot of sense to me. I did hear some Democrats (and actually some people in Obama’s administration) basically blaming Coakley herself for the loss, as a result of poor campaigning or other similar sorts of things. It was kind of interesting to observe the finger pointing, actually. So the explanation about the “arrogance” thing actually fits well with some of what I was seeing in the aftermath of the election.

  8. Formerly Anonymous

    Things like this incident are what gave Coakley the arrogent meme:

    Coakley bristles at the suggestion that, with so little time left, in an election with such high stakes, she is being too passive. “As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?’’ she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that.

    Her Fenway Park comment was seen by some as showing disdain for retail politics (ie shaking hands and kissing babies) That coupled with her lackluster campaigning in the beginning (she took a six day vacation during the campaign!) gave some people the feeling that she wasn’t campaigning hard enough or that she was presumptuous that she would win the election since she was a Democrat running in Massachusetts.

  9. GainesvilleResident

    Presumptuous is actually kind of the word I was looking for as opposed to arrogant. Many people did feel that way about her – that she was entitled to Kennedy’s seat just because she was a Democrat, and that it would be an easy race – given Massachusetts being such a heavily Democratic state. She underestimated voter anger over the way health care reform had been handled so far, with rushing it through and not allowing proper debate or attempting to achieve a truly bipartisan healthcare reform solution. Those things were kind of her undoing. I hadn’t heard about her refusal to do the standard kinds of things that politicians must do, such as appearing outside in all kinds of weather, shaking hands, etc. I can see how that would give rise to the “arrogant” word.

  10. GainesvilleResident

    Actually, I shouldn’t say her refusal, but her “inferred disdain” for doing those things, given what she said about Senator-elect Brown and comments about him doing these things. Those comments obviously to some degree backfired on her, from the sound of it. I hadn’t heard those comments, but it fits with how she just didn’t seem to feel like she needed to run a very strong campaign. A stronger campaign (and maybe a stronger candidate) might have been able to keep that seat Democrat, I think. Brown was way behind until nearly the very end and then caught up rapidly and overtook her in a very very short period of time. I bet a lot of people just got unhappy with how Coakley was presuming she was a shoe-in for the seat.

  11. A PW County Resident

    I also recall that the White House operatives accused the Coakley campaign of not doing polling until the last couple of weeks and did not have a clue that she was losing ground. Her campaign manager denied it.

  12. Maybe the good people of Massachusetts were tired of having a Kennedy for the past 47 years as their senator? After 47 years it is a wonder they didn’t vote for the La Rouche party.

  13. Do you think that some of those Democrats you all are citing might just have a self-serving interest in pointing a finger? It all sounds like spin to me anyway. I don’t know Coakley and I sure didn’t follow her campaign. But you all are really relying on political spin over something that doesn’t matter. To say she was arrogant, or unprepared, or that she thought she walked on water really is a stretch and relying on the comments of others. It is stuff like this that makes politics so generally unpalatable.

    How about let’s just take a look at Scott Brown. There’s your answer. He is drop dead gorgeous even as an older man. He was outgoing, charismatic, has a face recognition wife, a daughter who was on American Idol, and that centerfold. Plus he was a moderate Republican who wasn’t going to totally offend much of anyone except those in the far corners of their parties.

    Are people so shallow they vote for looks? You betcha. 😉

  14. Historians attribute much of JFK’s electibility to his looks. His father also brought in teams to make him even more of an eye-candy piece. He had artificial tanning under those TV lights during the debates, making Nixon look pale, paste and mean. He had make up artists. And here is this glowing god-figure (lower case) with the charming Boston accent full of Patriotic sound bites. People fell in love and some of it was because he didn’t look like Dick Nixon. Old man Joe Kennedy spent his money wisely.

    JFK overcame tremendous odds in even getting elected. In 1960 the anti-Catholic sentiment was huge, especially in the south.

    Interesting…both men came from the same area.

  15. Formerly Anonymous

    Moon-howler :
    Old man Joe Kennedy spent his money wisely.

    Truer words about the 1960 race were never said. Of course, I’m referring the the shenanigans in Illinois that gave the election to Kennedy.

    For all his later faults, Richard Nixon deserves credit for not dragging the country through a Bush v. Gore like scandal over the 1960 election. Many people believe that Nixon won that election but for the legendary Chicago machine.

  16. GainesvilleResident

    True enough, I’m sure some of the people doing the finger pointing are doing it for their own gain and self-serving interests.

    One can’t deny that a person’s appearance definitely can draw votes, certainly a good-looking candidate stands a better chance of picking up votes in some cases than an ugly one!

    In fact, an example of perception of looks – Nixon’s debate against Kennedy. People seeing it on TV, with him sweating profusely, all thought he did terrible and Kennedy won hands down. People listening on the radio on the other hand, thought Nixon won the debate!

    And no question, Joe Kennedy was a master at manipulating things with money.

  17. GainesvilleResident

    Still, it was amusing to listen to all the commentary and finger pointing. It is true, it isn’t really important so much why she lost, but it is still kind of interesting to explore it a bit and why she was called arrogant, etc. No question we are relying on people’s spin on the election, and it may not be accurate, but politics is all about spin.

  18. GainesvilleResident

    Brown’s daughter was on American Idol. See, there’s a tidbit I hadn’t heard. As popular as that show is, I could see it throwing a few votes Brown’s way among the younger set. You never know, I suppose. Silly thing to base electing your senator on, but some people’s reasons for voting for a particularly candidate can have not much to do with what positions they hold on major policy issues! I doubt too many votes were swayed that way, but it would be crazy to assume 0 votes were given to Brown because of his daughter’s involvement with American Idol. Or, it might have influenced someone who was “on the fence” so to speak and one of several factors they considered when they pushed the voting button for Brown.

  19. Name recognition and a pretty face. I think she made it to the top 16. I am not sure about that I even though I watch the show, I don’t remember her. And who knows, maybe they are the new camelot. It certainly seems like a family laced with talent.

    I don’t know how to say this but some of the party affiliation in that region was cultural. Same thing in the south. It has taken a long time to know that it is ok to not vote strict party lines.

  20. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    @Moon-howler

    You really like Scott Brown, don’t you? 😉

  21. hello

    Hey Moon, have you also heard that Scott Brown is related to Obama? Like 10th cousins or something like that…

    anyway, here is something to think about. What would you say if Scott Brown spent the next 140 days or so voting ‘present’ and then kicked off his presidential campaign?

  22. hello

    Am I the only one that saw yet another racist comment about Obama from someone from the ‘left’ that nobody seems to care about?

    Chris Matthew’s summary of the SOTU… ‘I forgot he was black tonight for an hour…’

  23. Emma

    Scott Brown: Attorney, 30-year National Guardsman, three-term Massachusetts State Representative, three-term State Senator, staunch advocate for veterans, and managed to beat the liberal Kennedy political stranglehold. And a totally hot male model.

    I guess he’d be more qualified if he did a little “community organizing.”

    @hello

  24. Emma

    I heard that Chris Matthews clip on the radio this morning. I wonder what happened when he finally remembered……

  25. hello

    LOL! Emma, great question…. what did Chris do when he finally remembered…

  26. I put up a thread about old Chris Matthews.

    Hello, I wouldn’t care one way or the other if Scott Brown runs for president. I think that doing what you just described short changes the people of MA because they need a senator.

    As for the presidential jabs, they are just so …teabaggish for lack of a better word. They aren’t part of real political discussion. I identify those kinds of remarks as being made by people who really aren’t seeking solutions for this country.

    Just calling it as I see it. The three of us have worked hard to make this a blog where meaningful discussion of current events that effect our everyday lives can be discussed. This week I feel like it has been a total waste of my time. I think the other ladies might feel the same way. The belittling crap is just getting old.

  27. Slowpoke, I don’t know much about Scott Brown actually. I think his phenomena is fairly interesting and I do not deny he is a hunk. As for his politics, he has several things going for him. I also liked Republican Governor Weld of Massachusetts. He isnt wyhat I would have called a hunk though.

  28. Wolverine

    Funny thing about this blog. You try to compose your thoughts for a post or to answer a question raised by Moon-howler, and thirty or forty people have jumped in here ahead of you. By the time you get to the bottom of the thread, you have clean forgotten what you were going to say. Old Wolverine has got to get faster at this.

    Anyway, Moon-howler, going way back to my #34 and your #35. I worked in various capacities for every President from JFK to Clinton. I cannot recall a more intensive and obvious “I won and you lost” scenario by either party than that which transpired in 2009. Perhaps closest were LBJ after his rout of Goldwater in 1964 and the Republican seizure of both houses of Congress in 1994 under the “Contract with America.” The differences between the two latter examples and the Obama situation, in my opinion, were that LBJ was a long-time master at co-opting the other party when he really needed it, e.g. the civil rights issue, and that the 1994 Republican-controlled Congress still had to work with a Democrat in the White House. From my own experience, 2009 was rather unique.

  29. Emma

    Wolverine, I feel the same way sometimes–check the blog in the morning, come home from work to find the topic has been talked out and even gone in a completely different direction by the time I can contribute.

    Even though Moon would argue with me if I said the sky is blue and snow is white, it’s still a credit to her efforts. (and yes, I know it is cloudy and snowing outside right now, so the sky is not blue, Moon 😉

    As I recall, as much as a conservative as Ronald Reagan was, he forged very collegial and often close relationships with Democrats–Tip O’Neill comes to mind. And George Bush Sr. was a gracious man known for his handwritten letters and notes and easygoing manner. His capitulation to Democrats’ demands for higher taxes and more spending cost him the support of many Republicans who were outraged at what they saw as betrayal of his “no new taxes” campaign promise, despite the over $200 billion deficit left by Ronald Reagan (that seems like such small change now, doesn’t it?).

    So the tone is definitely different, and very far from any notion of real bipartisanship.

  30. Wolverine, I am impressed that you could take us back to our #34 and # 35. That is truly remarkable. And I find myself having the same problem. You are definitely seeing it from the insider point of view. You must have had a great mystery job!

    I think much of the rancor goes back to the 2000 election. Most Democrats felt the election was stolen from them. I think whatever party wasn’t awarded the presidency would have felt that way,however. That’s obviously from an outsider point of view however.

    Emma, I just agreed with you on another thread. I didn’t feel the earth reverse rotational direction. I generally only argue with you when you are partisan sniping rather than putting thought into what you say.

    I am going to amend my own opinion. It had started long before that 2000 election. I think that might have just sealed it. The rancor and nastiness seemed very intense during the Clinton years. I remember the minister activists going after Clinton before he was even inaugurated.

    On the other hand, during the 1800s legislators shot each other and fought on the floor of Congress. Fought as in fisticuffs.

  31. Emma

    “On the other hand, during the 1800s legislators shot each other and fought on the floor of Congress. Fought as in fisticuffs.”

    You should pitch this to Fox TV or MTV as a new reality series: “Congress Unplugged”

    It would be much better than C-Span!

  32. Emma

    And I was complimenting you, Moon, not complaining. Do you really expect me to resist the urge to take a poke or two in fun?

  33. Gainesville Resident

    Wolverine :
    Anyway, Moon-howler, going way back to my #34 and your #35. I worked in various capacities for every President from JFK to Clinton. I cannot recall a more intensive and obvious “I won and you lost” scenario by either party than that which transpired in 2009.

    Wolverine makes a good point here and it seems to me to be that way too.

    Also, I bet Wolverine had a very interesting career over the years working under such a variety of presidents.

  34. Gainesville Resident

    And that “I won and you lost” scenario has led to a lot of the anger I think, and probably could be said to be the cause of the Tea Party movement. Now, I don’t agree with a lot of what goes on with the Tea Party stuff, but I think you have to look at it as being caused by frustration over the “I won and you lost” attitude that was prevalent during the 1st year of Obama’s administration. He did not (despite promising he would) reach out and do much to foster bipartisanship. It isn’t all his fault, I lay a lot of blame on Pelosi, and to some extent Reid too. Both are very partisan, polarizing figures and made it clear since they had the numbers, that Republican input was neither desired or wanted. You could also say that helped create the “party of no” image of the Republicans. What could they do, other than to be loud and say no to things, since they had no real power anymore?

    Let’s hope this year there is more bipartisanship, going forth. Obama is trying it seems, to at least sit down with the Republican party, and we’ll see what happens.

  35. Gainesville Resident

    Emma :
    “On the other hand, during the 1800s legislators shot each other and fought on the floor of Congress. Fought as in fisticuffs.”
    You should pitch this to Fox TV or MTV as a new reality series: “Congress Unplugged”
    It would be much better than C-Span!

    Has anyone ever watched the British parliament? What a raucus place that is, and at times they seem to be on the verge of coming to fisticuffs. Very very different than Congress. People shout things out all the time and really attack each other very vocally and interrupt them, etc. It’s pretty crazy, but somehow I guess they get things done. It’s just a different way of doing things than how we do it.

  36. Emma

    I just came back from an appointment at PWH. Everyone please be careful. The roads are pretty slick, especially in the City neighborhoods. I had no business being out in my little car.

  37. Elena

    I am pretty as soon as Obama took office, you heard shrill cries of socialism ect. Interesting, no republican talking head cried about the medicare prescription drug plan, a government initiative that cost almost 800 BILLION and NO PLAN TO PAY FOR IT!

  38. That prescription government plan is saving seniors a fortune. When you think about how many people live just on social security, it is a God send. My hat is off to President Bush over that plan.

    It isn’t perfect, and it shouldn’t have cost 800 billion. So much needs fixing with Rx, but I am glad the seniors got a break. A diabetic, for example, could have drugs costing $600 a month easily. Without an RX plan, that really affects quality of life. It had to happen.

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