The Counterpoint

February 02, 2005

I was rather impressed by the State of the Union, though not as much as I had hoped I would be. I thought the speech was well written, particularly the foreign policy sections. It layed the groundwork especially well for the president's agenda, and was optimistic in doing so. Bush's delivery, however, left something to be desired. He is not known for being a great orator, and while he seemed more relaxed tonight, his style was still a little pedestrian.

I don't know enough about social security to offer an in-depth comment on it, but I thought the president sold his perspective awfully well, especially with the mention that congressmen already have privatization, and that some are trying to keep it from the rest of the public.

Both sides of the isle seemed to be pretty united on the foreign sections, even if it was because the phrasing made it very hard to disagree with what was being said. Bush was tough on Syria, proud of what was done in Iraq and Afghanistan (without gloating), and optimistic for what remains to be done in the rest of the world. I thought that was the strongest part of the speech.

Overall, I liked the speech but not as much as I expected to. Well written and persuasive, but the delivery was a little off.

My very rough, very unofficial stats:

  • Applause breaks: 64
  • Standing ovations: 33

    As Franklin Roosevelt once reminded Americans, "Each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth." And we live in the country where the biggest dreams are born. The abolition of slavery was only a dream -- until it was fulfilled. The liberation of Europe from fascism was only a dream -- until it was achieved. The fall of imperial communism was only a dream -- until, one day, it was accomplished. Our generation has dreams of its own, and we also go forward with confidence. The road of Providence is uneven and unpredictable -- yet we know where it leads: It leads to freedom.


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