STATE OF THE UNION WRAPUP
PoliPundit.com has a good summary and a bunch of links here. Instapundit's review:
Better than I expected, though that's a function of my low expectations. State of the Union speeches are generally weak, and Bush is no star as a speaker. But the delivery was, for Bush, good, and the substance was mostly good, too, though the cloning-ban stuff didn't thrill me. The Presidential Commission on entitlement reform was also very lame, though realistically it's probably all he can do.
In the Democratic response, Tim Kaine's (rather repetitive) refrain is "there's a better way," which sounds like he's trying out a campaign slogan. He keeps citing state initiatives as examples. That doesn't reflect well on the national Democratic party, but it sets things up well for a 2008 presidential run by a Democratic governor. Hmm. Who could he have in mind? . . .
His brief Iraq discussion, however, notably lacked any specifics about the "better way" there, and quickly shifted to a discussion of veterans' benefits. That's been the problem that the Democrats have had on this subject all along. They can criticize, but if there's not an entitlement program, they can't get motivated. (full post)
Power Line's post "Another Good Speech":
The Democrats tried to distract from the substance of President Bush's speech by planting Cindy Sheehan in the House chamber tonight--she was reportedly the guest of a Democrat Congresswoman--but Justice Samuel Alito's presence in the chamber was much more significant. Plus, he lasted longer, as Sheehan was hauled out of the chamber when she tried to unfurl a banner. She is clinging tenaciously to her fifteen minutes.
On to the speech: The first question is whether anyone is watching. I hope I'm wrong, but my guess is that ratings are low tonight, and that most viewers are Republicans. (full post)