Mrs. Norwood's embrace of the Iraqi representative was as moving a moment as I can remember from many SOTUs, more eloquent than many of the fine passages in the remarks.
"And it should not be a small matter to the United States Congress."
Great line about the need to face the social security problem. The tremendous opening that applauded voting in Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories, Ukraine and Iraq gave the speech tremendous momentum, and the president never surrendered it. A bold and specific set of objectives, support for the Marriage Amendment, a demand for a vote on his nominees to the courts, a call for help for at-risk youth and the embrace of expanded legal assistance to death penalty defendants were all well stated and enthusiastically received by at least his party.
The restatement of his vision for a secure America and the expansion of democracy abroad provided his strongest moments because his record is credible and his resolve palpable.
"In the next four years my Administration will continue to build the coalitions that will defeat the dangers of our time." That is the essential promise a president must make and keep.
Syria got a message tonight, as did Iran, as did the terrorists in Iraq. Serious messages, and necessary ones to send. The resolve of the president is in stark contrast to the Kennedy demand for retreat. We can only hope that the enemies of freedom in Iraq belive the president and not the senator.
Hugh's a loyal partisan, of course, but his observations about the mood and structure of the speech are right on.
And Pelosi and Reid were indeed pathetic.