Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush's SOTU speech, 2007

I decided on the ABC version.

First, the speech.

Bush was more composed and effective for this one compared to the speech outlining the troop surge from a couple of weeks ago. Other commentators (including Cap'n Ed over at Captain's Quarters and an ABC correspondent whose name I missed) note that Bush tends to perform better in front of a live audience.

Cap'n Ed covered the details of the speech pretty well. To his comments I just want to add that I see the biographical sketches and guest appearances as being intended to illustrate the American will to get things done even where sacrifice is required.

It was a somewhat unexpected way of illustrating the ability of this nation to achieve notable and difficult goals--a subtle way of shaming those who would undercut support for the effort to stand Iraq firmly on its feet.

Those stories were each very effective in their own way, and Bush's appeal on the war gained considerable appeal based on that message.

I find myself wondering how those who call the war lost can have such unshakable faith in the inability of the United States to succeed in something.

When I ask, I tend to get thin answers.

Nancy Pelosi carried herself well, I think. Hillary came off better than usual, after the first shot of her, anyway. Our first ABC glimpse of the wind-testing senator from New York found her with a pinched mouth and disparaging expression.

Gotta love the aptitude of cameramen for catching folks at their worst.

Hillary cleaned up her act after that--but Barack Obama, sitting just in front of her, looked like a student falling asleep in class at times.

On the whole, I found the Democrat response to war issues discouraging. Key lines on national defense and security drew standing ovations on the right side of the aisle, with a smattering of polite applause from seated figures on the left.

Is it coherent to think that the US cannot win the war in Iraq while also thinking that Iraq will have a better shot at stability after we leave?

I don't see it. Not unless the stability is under the booted heel of Iran.

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