By The Big Guy
I heard a talking head (not to be mistaken for a journalist, I am advised) say that Tuesday night's speech ran ten seconds short of exactly one hour. So then that’s not exactly one hour is it? Or did I miss something? Is the length of a speech subject to the laws of rounding? I guess it doesn’t matter because it’s more about the things surrounding the State of the Union address than it is about the address.
When they put that line in the Constitution that the President shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union, for all I know those wacky founding fathers were maybe expecting a picture postcard from Mount Vernon to come flying in that just said, “Everything’s cool. Best, George.” Certainly they were expecting a written report. No one likes to listen to an address, especially if it’s almost exactly an hour long.
So here we were at starting time, watching group after group of very special people being introduced and taking forever to make their way down the fifty feet or so of aisle in the house chamber, shaking hands, pointing, laughing, shouting out things that no one could hear, eventually arriving at their courtside seats up front. There was the diplomatic corps, the Joint Chiefs, the members of the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court Justices. Hey, wait a second. Aren’t there nine of those people? I only count six. Interesting that the three most conservative members all seem to have a previous engagement. Probably sharing drinks with Rand Paul at some bar over on Mass. Ave. Maybe next year.
Finally there's that silly shout out that the President has arrived followed by another time consuming fifty foot walk down the aisle as the network folk do a play-by-play of the hand shaking, pointing, laughing, shouting out things that no one can hear exercise that would do their network’s irritating figure skating announcers proud.
Oh, and eventually there was a speech. It is my understanding that it was almost exactly an hour long. It started out as sort of a picture postcard from Maui with an inscription on the back that read, “Everything’s good. Best, Barack. But then that part was followed by an address that listed all the things that the President would like to do to make things even better. And apparently, all these things were free. I think that’s what he said. I don’t pay attention to the details. Politicians love people who don’t pay attention to the details.
Speaking of not paying attention, perhaps you may have noticed that so many of our congressional leaders seemed to be looking down at the floor throughout the speech. Perhaps you thought they were bored or saw it as an opportunity to catch a quick nap. You would be wrong. They were all busy tweeting just what they thought of each and every sentence as it was spoken. Nothing like participating in the immediacy of twitter and missing out on the immediacy of the governance of our country I always say.
Regarding the Rubio response (the requirement for which does not seem to appear anywhere in the Constitution) one thing we know for sure. He definitely wasn’t lip-syncing. If he were, he wouldn’t have had to lunge for the bottle of water. Now that was entertainment.