I actually watched a Presidential speech all the way through--about the first time that's happened in, oh, about eight years or so. Our last President's speeches made my spleen hurt after the first five or six minutes. Even the neo-con scree-merchants (Limbaugh, Hannity and their ilk) admit that President Obama can give a good speech, better than just about anyone in recent memory, even if they don't like his ideas too much.
Of course, there were those moments--like when the President said that Americans "invented" the automobile, something which gave all the scree-merchants something to cackle about, that the "Anointed One" made a mistake. Sure, Americans didn't invent the automobile, but we sure made it practical and developed the system of mass-production that made them affordable, so he wasn't too far off. I could have done without all of the jumping up and down of the Speaker of the House like a jack-in-the-box every few seconds.
Over the whole, however, the President did a good job pushing his policies and explaining the need for the Stimulus package. It didn't help that the President said that the spending would be "transparent" and that there would be no "earmarks" and that today it was pointed out that there were, in fact, lots 'o earmarks, probably in the eight billion dollar range, a small percentage of the total bill, of course, but enough to give the scree-merchants something to talk about today.
Then there was the Big Elephant "response", such as it was, by their new up-and-coming "star", Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Why is Jindal the up-and-commer? Because most everyone else has flamed out. The Governor of Alaska has retreated to her wintry home to lick her wounds, pay a $7,000.00 settlement of an ethics complaint regarding her kids traveling on the public's tax dollar (how mavericky of her!) and make a "documentary" about how she's really not nearly as stupid as the "mainstream media" supposedly portrayed her during the campaign and, had McCain's people not "muzzled" her, things really would have been different. Rev. Huckabee's got his own talk show now and McCain is back being the grouchy old guy he always wanted to be. Nope, the Big Elephants are trying really hard to be relevant and with it, I mean, hip, I mean...well, I don't have any idea what I mean and neither do they. Their new black head of the RNC, Steele, talked the other day about the Big Elephants getting into the "hip-hop" market somehow--I doubt he's ever used the phrase before, since it was quite obvious that the hip-hop community was probably laughing its collective derriere off when they heard it.
Nope, Jindal is the Next Reagan, to hear Hannity and Limbaugh drooling over him during their radio shows today, notwithstanding the almost universal panning of Jindal's speech, even by those who like the guy. He obviously thought the President was going to do a "malaise" speech, as he alluded to such, but Obama blindsided him with a FDR-style Fireside chat in front of the Joint Session. Jindal really hit a low point when whining about how effective "Government" is by talking about Louisiana's experience with Katrina. Rachel Maddow on MSNBC literally was struck dumb by it, since he was as much admitting that his own former President and his policies were absolutely incompetent. Yup, no one knows incompetence like a Republican, especially when he's looking at his own party.
Of course, the scree-merchants all complained about how their new favorite was being mistreated by the media and how he really did a great job and...you get the picture. Look, I realize they hate the President, especially now that they and the Big Elephants are essentially irrelevant, but the amount of fertilizer they're shoveling to make Gov. Jindal look good is absolutely incredible. Get used to it, it'll be going on for the next four years.