Well, as outlined earlier in the day, here's the game. Minute-by-minute, live blog of the State of the Union. And, as fellow bloggers did during the Indiana Gov's State of the State, we had a patent-pending SOTU Drinking Game. All in all, a 50-minute speech that was half and half on domestic, foreign policy. Of course, watered down with too much applause and way too much media anaylsis before and after. Nonetheless, here's the rundown. (Be warned: I'm a cynic.)
8:55: CNN live coverage blogging begins, though they’ve been analyzing for days. Now, it’s Barack talking with and hugging his people. True emotion among politicians. Outstanding.
8:57: Senate President Nancy Pelosi - her mouth is moving, but she’s saying nothing. Smile some more, Nancy. Clapping for meaningless words.
9:00: Nice party-colored suit, Laura Bush.
9:01: Only four of nine justices??? WTF? So much for justice. Maybe it's for security purposes...
9:08: Finally. He enters. DRINK for having to endure the handshakes and worthless media analysis. Uh, formulating strategy…. Like the Legislative session hasn’t started already? C’mon. Try this: represent the people.
9:10: Bad husband president. His tie doesn’t match her attire. He never learned that lesson. Don’t reach out to the Democrats, reach out to your wife.
9:11: As speech starts, CNN says, "Let’s listen in." Good idea.
9:12: Bang that gavel, Nancy. Be the judge.
9:13: Historic, “madam speaker.” He knows her family history – bonus points, prez.
9:14: Clapping. DRINK more.
9:15: Decisions, courage. Will to face enemies. And a sidenote thanks to Congress’ change of power. Read between the lines.....
9:16: Uncertainty. “Citizens don’t care….” Eh hem.
9:17: Did you say 41st….? There’s the uncertainty firsthand from the speech-maker.
9:18: Economic priority #1: Budget - let’s stand and clap for that obvious one. Oohh… Did I hear “No new taxes” like Daddy once said? Wiping out deficit in next five years. Now there's a pipedream.
9:19: Hillary looks bored. She’s wondering what Obama is thinking. He’s sitting row in front of her. Who’d John McCain wink at?
9:20: Conscious? What? Kennedy looks like he's napping. "Work together." DRINK.
9:21: Fix Medicare and Medicare… er, Medicaid. DRINK. Partisan differences. DRINK AGAIN.
9:22: Jobs of the future. DRINK.
9:23: Health care. DRINK. Now, cat’s watching SOTU with us.
9:24: New ideas. Math. Numbers. Yikes. Something about tax bills and health insurance. Eyes glazing over.
9:25: Golf claps. Looks of discontent. Leiberman, too. Proof that they don’t care, or don’t understand.
9:26: Health savings accounts. Hey, we have those at work! DRINK
9:27: Edwards thinking: “Yea, I said this a long time ago.”
9:28: Ah, immigrants. Borders, secure. Sneaking, bad. First terrorist reference! DRINK. Neither animosity nor amnesty. Nice alliteration. Immigration reform.
9:29: Oil. Hostile regines, terrorists. DRINK. Huge dis…dis…disruptions. Diversity energy supply. You are a smooth talker, Mr. Prez.
30: Big 3 must be loving the ethanol-loving, anti-diesel fuel theme. Sorry, Detroit. Reduce gasoline by 20 percent in next 10 years. Mandatory fuel standards. Oh, how the Michigan headlines will read tomorrow.
31: Suzi asks who’s the guy with glasses, looking giddy and getting excited? I’ve got no clue, but agree he’s a nerd.
32: We’re on the verge. Drink break for Pres. And I. DRINK.
33: Judges, courts…. WHAT? Is this work related???? Check on that tomorrow.
34: Danger. Terorists. 9/11. Five years have passed. We’ve taken stock of the situation. Horrors of that September morning. We must stop them. Good calendar reading, Mr. Prez.
35: Let’s talk about Iraq. War. DRINK.
36: Found the head-nodding guy in the front row. Don’t be that guy, Obama.
37: Alright, non clappers. We saw you on TV! Boo…. Patriots unite!
38: Yep. He confirmed it. We’re still a nation at war. Let’s recap the definition of terrorists.
39: Was 9/11 five or six years ago? Make up your mind, speechwriters. Technicality, but bad speechwriters.
40: Security of our nation is in the balance. Again, back to 9/11. DRINK.
41: Condolezza is possessed by the devel! Oh my… Is she really that angry?
42: Uh, oh…. Wine glass is empty. Pour the Merlot! (No beer in the fridge!)
43: Assassination accounts worldwide… Is this state of the union, or state of the world?
44: “Everyone wishes this war was over, and won.” Enter presidential ratings: Nixon-like approval rating. Victory. Good comeback. DRINK.
45: More troops for a “Democratic Iraq.” No applause. Silence. But he says, "Insurgents." So DRINK. Part clapping begins.
46: Safe haven. Free Iraq. Act, Iraq gov. Our commitment isn’t open-ended. In case you were wondering. I'd drink, but am really feeling it....
47: Oil, Iraq. I’d almost forgotten what we were fighting about.
48: We must not fail, but expect an epoch battle. Failing means ignoring lessons of 9/11 and inviting more danger. Chilling.
49: “Whoever you voted for, you did not vote for failure.” This isn’t war we went into, but it’s the war we have. And just in case you don’t agree….. blah blah blah SUPPORT OUR TROOPS…. Ok, applause.
50: Missed this minute. Wow, really feeling the wine.
51: Authorize army increase by 92,000 in next five years. Start a citizen reserve core. Wow. Let’s start a draft.
52: Congress shaking heads. Obvious disagreements in decision-makers.
53: "Pennin-shula." Yep, Michigan understands.
54: Freedom in Cuba? Fidel’s happy on his deathbed.
55: Money, money, money…. Money! Where did that come from??? $1.2 billion over five years for malaria?
56: It’s like a football game. Up and down. Really, some aren’t even clapping. They’re just standing and sitting. That sucks.
57: Heroic kindness of American kindness. I felt that one. Nod. DRINK. Course, didn’t we drink and nod to that in January 2002?
58: Oh, good. The feel-good stories. Better late in the speech than never.
59: Recognize the Baby Einstein woman. She’s rich. Wonder how much she donates?
10:00 pm: The NY Subway Superman is there! We’re a country of heroes. But don’t forget about Hiro, who’s from Japan. Heroes. Great show. Prez must watch the show, too!
10:01: More clapping. For the military this time.
10:02: “We’ve been through a lot together." And the state of the union is "strong.” The message at last!!!!!!! It’s OVER!!!!! DRINK, even if glasses and bottles are empty. Success!
Kudos to Suzi, who tracked a list of key phrases during the speech. Her findings: total 18-minutes clapping, 35-minutes talking. Clapping: 63, including intros and exits (31 in first 20 minutes). War: 8. Laughs: 2. Terms or phrases used - Insurgents: 2. Terror or terrorist: 22. Troops: 3. War on terror: 2. Iraq or Iraqis: 29. Resolve: 2. Oil: 7.
And, don't forget: The Democratic response! In case you wanted to get to bed at a decent hour....Rep. Jim Webb. He's wearing a red tie, opposed to Bush's blue one. At least they both tried to "reach out." Now, the election season.... er, lame duck session... um, Congress work begins.