2011 SOTU: Style Over Substance

So reports The Politico: State of the union forecast: Atmospherics over policy

When President Barack Obama steps into the House chamber Tuesday to deliver his second State of the Union address, ambience will trump substance.

In his speech, the president will talk about jobs, the deficit and the future of the nation’s troubled economy, but most of the attention is going to be on the theatrics in the room. It will be a night defined by the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and murder of six bystanders in Tucson less than a month ago and the highly public soul-searching that has played out since then on the need for greater civility in political debate.

Obama will honor Giffords and other victims of the shootings, their families and the heroic first responders. His aides believe he’ll reach a broader audience with an emotional and patriotic appeal – one without the faintest whiff of partisan politics.

The president, who scolded the Supreme Court in last year’s State of the Union for a decision that undid campaign finance reform, prompting Justice Samuel Alito to mouth “Not true,” will this time position himself as a unifying force, much like he did during the 2008 campaign.

Essentially, they are saying he will return to the era of hopey changey, when it wasn’t necessary to actually Do Something, when all he had to do was give a speech and throw out a few platitudes, talking about working together, join hands, sing kumbaya, and the world would start to heal and the seas would stop rising, all to the backdrop of a Roman cathedral. Then he won the election, and realized that he actually had to Do Something, and was in over his head. Except for partying, golfing, campaign appearances, and scarfing down some burgers for the camera’s eye.

“My No. 1 focus,” he promised in his video preview, “is going to be making sure that we are competitive, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future.”

On Wednesday, Obama will begin to sell his vision. Aides said the president will hit the road at least once a week in the coming month. His first stop is Wisconsin, where he will kick off a series of 2011 battleground state speeches about jobs and the economy.

Reads more like his #1 focus will be getting re-elected, as those stops sound eerily like campaign appearances.

Anyhow, I still say that if Congress is going to pretend to be grade schoolers and sit Republican Democrat Republican Democrat, they should have a random lottery to hand out 50 low power tasers. I wonder who will sit next to cootie monster Nancy Pelosi?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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