State of the Union

Date January 31, 2006

As Bob Schieffer worked to fill the time while President Bush walked into the House chamber for the State of the Union address tonight, he commented that, last year, the President received about 60 rounds of applause during his speech, and about half of those turned into standing ovations. That’s. Just. Crazy. I honestly don’t have the patience to wait through that many interruptions to receive the content.

Everyone talks about how we live in a nation of soundbites — that politicians can no longer communicate through the methodical development of deep thoughts. That is probably true, but the SOP of the State of the Union does not help things. I flipped to another channel (checking to see if Jon Stewart was doing any sort of simultaneous commentary, by any chance — no luck) for a bit, because it was apparent that Bush had a ways to go before he would make it to the podium. I turned it back in time for him to arrive, for things to die down, and for Hastert to give a one-sentence introduction…which prompted a standing ovation. Geesh. I turned the TV off. Turned it back on five minutes later…and got applause. I gave up.

I’m honestly okay waiting to hear how the various NPR analysts break it down tomorrow morning (they’ll cut out the applause), and even to see what Hendrik Herzberg’s take on it in next week’s The New Yorker.

It’s just silly. And frustrating.

Baseball’s coming. Bill and I are slated to do our best with Priceline tomorrow afternoon. I’ll post how we make out on the hotel.

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