Thursday, January 28, 2010

SOTU and GOP Reponse Thoughts and Notes

Some random rumblings from tonight's events.

The State of the Union Address...

- Obama says he doesn't quit, and he's right...he wants to push forward the same crap that Americans rejected during his first year.

- Capital Gains tax exemption for small business investments? Good idea, but I think I know where this is going to be offset (increases in Capital Gains tax on corporate investments, higher corporate taxes, punitive fees on large corporations to gain populist support).

- This has to be the longest-feeling SOTU ever. It just seems to go on and on. Obama isn't breaking new ground, either. In the second half of his speech, he has randomly started repeating things he said in the first half of it.

- Attack the Supreme Court in the SOTU address? Stupid move, Barry. It's not the time or place for such a move (even if I also disagreed with the ruling he was referring to). What a lack of decorum.

- Towards the last 3rd of the SOTU, Obama just went into straight lecturing. Way to burn any bridges you were hoping to build, Barry.

The GOP Response...

- WOW, McDonnell really outdid himself with the presentation here. Obama likes that podium in front of Congress, you can tell he likes that look and feel of a "leader". McDonnell decided that he would respond to Obama in kind, as the leader of a state. Nice job. He's already topped Bobby Jindal's performance last year without uttering a single word.

- The Gov is in good oratory form tonight, coming across with more personality and vocal skill than usual. He's to the point and succinct without being curt or vague.

- McDonnell really stuck to his guns with "good government" policy stances and some nice nods to the type of federalism expressed by our Founding Fathers. Also, McDonnell struck me as being a bit more aggressive than I thought he might be...but he did it well. Impressive performance by our Governor. He really surprised me.

Overall Ratings...Obama: C+, McDonnell: A-

Obama's meandering lectures and repetitiveness brought down what was otherwise a solid speech for him. Had he left out the whole "Democrats, you've got a majority, so get stuff done...Republicans, you need to be 'bipartisan' and do what we say" bit (ok, I paraphrased), and not been so repetitive, he might have earned a higher mark from me. By the way, the Associated Press (who has been kind to Obama) hits him pretty hard in the fact-checking department. Talk about "truth hurts"...

McDonnell made a memorable impression on me for having such a restricted period of time. He was to the point, made a couple of humorous asides, and was able to accomplish a lot more than many "minority party response" speeches tend to do. Using the GA as a backdrop was a fantastic move on his part. If this was a litmus test to see if McDonnell can be a leader for the GOP going forward, he certainly passed.

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