State of the Union speeches are not anything I enjoy. Obama's performance last night was entirely predictable. Carefully crafted populist platitudes were lobbed all evening. Judging by the cheering and applause seen on TV last night, most of the lobs had the intended effect. The Republican response that followed was pathetic and also predictable. Here is the Cato response to Obama.
Beyond political hyperbole, there were some zingers. At the top has to Obama taking credit for the energy boom. This boom is not about Solyndra and/or "renewables."
One of the least useful statistics that an unthinking press corps keeps repeating is the unpopularity of the Congress. But the overwhelming number of incumbents keep getting re-elected and sent back from their gerrymandered districts. An inanimate and abstract "Congress" may be unappealing to polled respondents but "our rep" is a real person who manages to bring home (or promise) just enough favors to get re-elected again and again -- by the voters he and his party chose when they drew district lines. Perhaps that's what all the cheering and smiling were really about.
Look at #1.