SOTU 2011

First impressions of the 2011 State of the Union address.

Breaking my recent habit, I actually watched a few minutes of the 2011 State of the Union address live, albeit mostly by accident.  I watched the president enter the chamber and caught a few minutes toward the end when he was proposing lowering the corporate income tax.

I’ll perhaps comment on the substance of the policy proposals later; I need to get out the door very soon.  But the optics were a bit surreal.  The “new tone” and the Members paired up like junior high kids at a dance was rather odd.  There seemed to be even more clapping than usual — it seemed like every comma was interpreted as an applause line — but the cheering more muted.

Will this gesture lead to any real change in how the Capitol works?  CBS’ Bob Schieffer thinks so.  I hope so.  But seriously doubt it.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Gerry W. says:

    This was supposed to be a speech about jobs and he did his best on jobs. He had said just about everything I have said for years. Unfortunately, reality came to me that once someone talked about jobs. It is rather too late for my town and maybe half the country. I saw jobs lost even though we had the Bush tax cuts. We have waited too long to deal with globalization. The factories that are closed (40,000 over the last decade) will not come back. There is no policy that we can have that will deal with 2 billion cheap laborers. We will end up with clusters of prosperous areas in our country and others without jobs.

    The other part is to cut spending, and of course, he did not talk about the big items. Our country from the left to the right is not living in reality. Donald Trump was just on CNBC and he has a different take on how to deal with China and other countries and to create revenue. I get the politicians will never get it. It will go back to failed ideology. My town will never see the “trickle down” as factories are closed and there is nothing that will replace what we lost. The politicians and the pundits will keep on talking, but it means nothing here.

  2. Herb says:

    “Will this gesture lead to any real change in how the Capitol works? ”

    Probably not….but I do think it cut down on the heckling.

  3. Drew says:

    Not that they all aren’t, but it was Obama as Lucy with the football and the voter as Charlie Brown.

    Good luck.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    “…but it was Obama as Lucy with the football and the voter as Charlie Brown.”

    That analogy seems more fitting for the GOP establishment as Lucy and the Tea Party types as Charlie Brown…good luck indeed…