Tonight, we watched our Commander-in-Chief deliver his penultimate State of the Union address. It's one of my top thirty (or so) things to watch in the second half of January. Some observations...
While the President was the star of the evening, the real entertainment was to his rear. Behind our Pres were seated (and occasionally standing) the veep Dickie C and Madame Speaker Pelosi. Lisa observed that Madame Speaker must lose a lot of congressional staring contests, while Cheney is probably the Oval Office champion. In the course of merely one or two minutes, Pelosi blinked an astonishing 100 times to Cheney's 18 (and 3 of those 18 came while resitutating after one of many stand-and-clap moments--these 3 almost shouldn't be counted in the final tally).
The frequency of ups and downs at these shows is rivaled only by Catholic mass.
We enjoyed the expressions on the faces in the audience. Ted Kennedy looked pained beyond tolerance. McCain appeared to be asleep for some time. Condi stared straight ahead, scowling, probably imagining herself in the staring contest on the grand stage.
Special guests served as examples of great Americans. Dikembe Mutombo was there as a representative of tall and wildly successful immigrants. The creator of the popular Baby Einstein children's video series was also in attendance. Bush: "Baby Einstein has grown." I can't be sure, but he may have believed her to be Albert's mom.
Lisa commented that the army men had lots of flair. They did.
I learned today that the speech is sent out in advance to members of Congress to peruse and, importantly, plan when and when not to stand and clap. Even so, there appeared to be some confusion among several start-and-stop clappers who had to check out the applause activity of those in their immediate vicinities before joining in themselves. I can appreciate some good old fashioned peer pressure when I see it.
As the President exited the hall, he signed autographs for members of Congress (republicans and democrats alike) clamoring just to touch his suit or shake his hand. He even signed one Senator's forehead. That lucky bloke'll never wash his face again.
At the end of the speech, John Kerry was the first out the door. I guess he really wanted to beat the traffic. JK.
Originally Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2007
(Then) Curent Mood: amused