Very much like a big-time sporting event, the thing is already ten minutes late and all we get are announcers yapping while the president wanders around talking to people. The speech is slated for 50 minutes, plus a similar amount of needless applause.

(2115): First standing ovation “America is more secure.” Probably written as anti-Dean jab before Iowa. Crediting Congress’ passage of tax relief for the economic recovery was also wildly popular.

Ted Kennedy looked as if having an unpleasant procedure when GWB said seniors now have drug coverage under Medicare.

The state of the Union, as of 2115, is “confident and strong,” a huge upgrade from the usual “(merely) strong.”

(2120) : The first controversy was Bush’s extolling of the PATRIOT Act. Some loud applause came when he noted that several provisions were set to expire, followed by louder counter-applause when he noted that the terrorist threat will not expire. Tom Delay looked like a cat who’d eaten the canary.

(2128): Lots of bad guys captured. Kids in school. New friends. “The people of Iraq are free.” 45 of 55 top Iraqis captured. Saddam in prison. We rock. Don’t mess with Texas.

(2133): First token guest appearance. Apparently, Walter Mondale is now president of the Iraqi Governing Council, under the nom de guere “Pachachi.” Who knew?

Note: Pausing the TiVo to blog causes time lag. Will likely switch to watching larger chunks rather than commenting point-by-point.

(2144): A pretty fair job of taking on the major arguments against the war of terror–that it’s crime, not war; no WMD, etc. Especially good was the “let’s be honest about the consequences of not going” business. And the listing of countries in the coalition as a response to “let’s internationalize” was the sound byte of the night so far. Certainly better than, say, “Yeeeeeeeeeeeeyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

(2209): Permanent tax cuts. Lower deficits, More free stuff. Education. Medicine. Yada yada yada.

(2212): Steroids are bad. Calls on the private sector to deal with the problem. Yes!

‘Abstinence is the only certain way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.” And parking is the only way to avoid car accidents.

(2215): Andrew Sullivan isn’t going to be happy with the gay marriage stuff.

Let’s help ex-cons find jobs. Four year, $300 million initiative. Yikes. Why not send them to Iraq to help the restructuring? Two birds/one stone and all that.

Sweet letter from 10-year-old girl named Ashley.


Overall, a fairly boring speech to listen to but, as Steven Taylor reminds us, it’s the sound bytes that matter. There are several good ones that will be played tomorrow.

Listening to a speech and blogging is an odd experience. Definitely detracts from the listening enjoyment.

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. Boyd says:

    I liked the bit about “the Patriot Act will expire next year.”


    “But the terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule.”


    Made the Democrats appear, shall we say, a bit foolish.

  2. Boyd says:

    Oops…gotta quit using &lt or &gt.

  3. SwampWoman says:

    Maybe Rangel was “resting” his eyes. Was Hillary applauding?

  4. SwampWoman says:

    Oh, GAWWWWD, now listening to the Dems bring up the Ghost of JF (Kennedy) and call for clasping hands and working together with allies and UN. Aaaaack! Must. Turn. Off. TV.

  5. bamatexan says:

    That’s right…don’t mess with TEXAS…

  6. Boyd says:

    Doesn’t Tom Daschle have the prettiest little blue eyes? He makes me think he wants to be my buddy.

    Yeah, right.

  7. barb says:

    “But the terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule.”

    Yup, this was definitely worth cheering. Woohoo!

  8. rrsafety says:

    Go Tom Brady!

  9. scott h. says:

    “But the terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule.”

    I actually started watching the SOTU at that precise point. People started clapping and I thought “WTF?”

  10. John Lemon says:

    I’m not really sure what the “blog simulcast” of the speech accomplished. This is kind of like me hitting the refresh button on CalPundit to find out who won the NFC championship game.

  11. David Mercer says:

    Perhaps the point is that some of us, such as my wife and myself, were too sick to play the SOTU drinking game this year, and now actually want to find out what was said, without reading the entire transcript or watching a video file. Much quicker this way!

  12. Paul says:

    I’m not really sure what the “blog simulcast” of the speech accomplished.

    Lemon you obviously missed the trackbacks. 😉

  13. VodkaPundit says:

    Around the Blogosphere
    James Joyner was live-blogging, too — and was probably a lot more together than I was. Glenn Reynolds: “I guess…

  14. PoliBlog says:

    OTB Blogcast 2004
    James Joyner, no doubt inspired by Steve Bainbridge from last night has an impressive Blogcast of the SOTU….

  15. State Of The Union Address
    The address hasn’t even happened yet and I’m already seeing news items about it in past tense. I know Washington leaks, but can’t reporters just pretend? (1932CT) I’ll be updating this post throughout the night. (2015CT) President Bush mentions the…

  16. The Captain, Unedited: Thoughts on the SOTU Speech
    For tonight, I will be posting as I watch the State of the Union address President Bush will give to Congress. I’ll update this particular post as the coverage on C-SPAN continues, perhaps even mixing in comments from the First

  17. GW’s Really Big Show
    10:03pm It just dawned on me that Bush’s marriage initiative did not get a mention in his family/faith-based spending. Did ridicule get to that program? In general, this speech was nothing new, and lacked moments of great speechcraft other than…

  18. Partial Roundup of SOTU Coverage
    Many others were blogging tonight, among them Outside the Beltway, Insults Unpunished, Vodka Pundit (and I was blogging and commenting over at Mr. Green’s site, so I think I get bonus points for that), as well as Instapundit, Poliblogger, and…

  19. State of the Union Address
    Tonight, boys and girls, we go through the State of the Union Address. The entirity will not be quoted, but every effort will be made to address each ‘whole’

  20. MASHed SOTU Response
    I missed the SOTU (living in California means lots of things like the SOTU happen during drivetime) but caught the Democrat response on the car radio. Listening to Peolosi and Daschle’s response to the SOTU address somehow reminded me of

  21. State of the Union
    First responses to GWB’s State of the Union Address. All quotes taken from the NYT’s posting of the prepared text.

    Why does GWB feel the need to frame his positions through false choices and misrepresentations of those who disagree with him? Is he a…

  22. SOTU-blogging
    Here’s the text of the speech. I can’t match James Joyner, Glenn Reynolds, Patrick Belton, or Stephen Green on real-time State of the Union blogging. Plus, I’ve been historically bad at reading these speeches. I used to be bored silly…

  23. SOTU
    Bill Hobbs has a good take on the speech. Glenn has a bunch of links. Steve Green blogged it in real time. My take, good not great but it had good parts. The strongest part was when he was talking…

  24. State of the Union by a blogger
    Thanks to one of the better bloggers on the net James Joyner has time blogged (if that’s what it’s called) the whole State of the Union address. This is clearly an awesome way to look back on the speech, and…

  25. State of the Union
    First, it must be said that many others were much better at blogging this (and other things) than am I. First link comes from Stephen Green who, along with James Joyner, blogged it in real-time. I agree with much of…

  26. State of the Union
    First, it must be said that many others were much better at blogging this (and other things) than am I. First link comes from Stephen Green who, along with James Joyner, blogged it in real-time. I agree with much of…

  27. SOTU Wrap-Up
    James Joyner has a round-up of other posts as well as the running commentary he posted during the speech. I had thoughts of doing an post-speech analysis comparing the transcript of the speech with the SOTU Drinking Game to determine…

  28. State of the Union
    While illustrious bloggers provided real-time analysis, I listened to the address on the radio, since I happened to be driving through Jack in the Box for dinner. Perhaps it was appropriate: as I bit into a fat sourdough burger, the…

  29. SOTU
    James Joyner gives a blow-by-blow of the State of the Union speech. His take, “Overall, a fairly boring speech…” Sometimes that’s bad; me, I like boring presidential speeches — they’re

  30. blogoSFERICS says:

    Sorry, y’all. Didn’t watch. But I’m sure there’s plenty of punditry out there. I’ll be reading it, and if need…

  31. BushBlog says:

    SOTU wrap
    Just in case you missed the State of the Union.

    Text |

  32. BoiFromTroy says:

    SOTU: Stream of consciousness
    SOTU: Confident and Strong. I’d add “optimistic.” Terrorist attacks…Dubya includes Jerusalem, not an Al Quaeda target…hmmm…this will draw some of the greatest international attention Patriot Act…Ouch. Bet those 50 or so Dems who were clapping a…