Even Obama-hating people will have to admit that President Barack Obama delivered a great State of the Union (SOTU) speech last night. It was by far the best SOTU speech from the President.
This was really the last SOTU speech that people will be paying attention to, because next year we will be in the midst of a Presidential election. Nobody will care that much what the President is saying because his time will be about over.
According to The American Presidency Project, the President’s speech was 6,718 words and it was 59 minutes and 57 seconds in length.
Here are some of my thoughts about the whole SOTU.
Obama started his speech with:
But tonight, we turn the page. Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before. More of our people are insured than ever before. And we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.
Overall, I think things are better than when Obama took office. Then Obama talked about the service of our military personnel:
Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over. Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep us safe. We are humbled and grateful for your service.
It’s always good to thank the military personnel in a SOTU speech. He then told us that our union is strong:
America, for all that we have endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this: The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.
He could have ended the speech right there, but that was just fourth paragraph.
The best part of the speech was when Obama went off-script some about six paragraphs from the end. He said, “I have no more campaigns to run” and then some people applauded that and then others laughed. Obama then said, “I know because I won both of them.” One person said if the President had been holding a microphone, then would have been a good time to drop it and walk off the stage. He owned that moment. It was a little reminder that he is the only thing holding back the Republicans from running wild in Washington, D.C.
The President did say, “My only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one I’ve had since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol — to do what I believe is best for America.”
Although his party was dealt a major blow in the last election, I did not get the feeling of defeat from Obama. He seemed to be stronger and more energetic than he has been. It looks as though he may have found a second wind to get him to the finish line.
The Republican Response:
It’s not easy to follow President Obama. One of the new U.S. Senators, Joni Ernst from Iowa, gave the “official Republican response.” It was a decent speech, and she did not pull a Marco Rubio and embarrass herself.
Twitter went a little crazy when she talked about bread bags. Here is what she said, “You see, growing up, I had only one good pair of shoes. So on rainy school days, my mom would slip plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry.”
I like Joni Ernst, and we need more veterans in Congress – both Republicans and Democrats.
As for the Montana delegation, like almost everybody else, they had comments about the speech. You can visit The Western Word’s Facebook page where I have links to comments from U.S. Senators Jon Tester, Steve Daines, and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke.
Twitter was a lot of fun last night, too. You can go to my Twitter account (@TheWesternWord) and see what I Tweeted during the speech.