State of the Union … not so strong?: There’s a certain amount of comfort in hearing a president declare, in the opening lines of the State of the Union address, that the state of our union is strong. Last night, for the second year in a row, George W. Bush did not do that. He tucked the line away at the end of his remarks. Every year between 2002 and 2006, that line was up front. Last year, 2007, it made the last paragraph. And last night, the line was left for the penultimate sentence. Are we left to assume America is growing weaker? — Foreign Policy

The State of the Union Bush forgot to talk about: I listened intently to President Bush’s State of the Union speech. Frankly, I had a hard time understanding what country he was talking about, what reality he was talking about. Certainly, if the “state of the union” refers to what is happening to the shrinking middle class of this country, and how we as a people are doing, the president had almost nothing to say that rang true. In fact, the speech just reminds us once again how far removed from the reality of ordinary life this president is, and how little he and his administration know about what is going on with the vast majority of Americans. — Senator Bernie Sander, Huffington Post

Obama, Kennedy outshine Bush’s last State of the Union: Even the talking heads on network and cable coverage (for which I did wake up in time to monitor) seemed bored by and dismissive of the product delivered by the lamest duck of all Presidents in recent memory—public approval ratings of about 30%, the House and Senate in opposition hands, his own party in disarray and its coalition dissolving, the next president widely assumed to be a Democrat. The delivery was lack luster and most of the content re-cycled from earlier SOA, including a saber-rattling claim that an evil rogue state—this time Iran—may be developing weapons of mass destruction. – Patrick Murfin

There it was last night, for all the world to see: A presidency running on empty. In his final State of the Union address, President Bush had almost nothing to say. Certainly nothing new and significant. Nothing remotely memorable … On the traditional State of the Union litany of subjects, his repetition of familiar and sometimes delusional talking points conveyed a clear, though unintended message: That those looking for meaningful progress on the key issues facing our nation and our world today will have to wait for the next president. – Dan Froomkin, Washington Post

State of the Union: Impeach, remove, jail: I’m not a fan of preaching to the choir or shooting fish in a barrel, so unless I find something spectacularly original on the internets, this is probably the only post I’m going to do concerning the State of the Union. I find it utterly ridiculous that we should focus so much of our attention on someone so out of touch with reality to tell us what state our country is in. This would be my State of the Union address: “We’re f-cked. That is all.” — The Largest Minority

Fresh thinking on the environment: It was a particular statement that caught my attention in Bush’s last SOTU speech. He said he wanted to create:

an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.

Um, Mr. President, it already exists. It’s called the Kyoto Protocol and the US is the only developed nation that hasn’t signed it. — Groovy Green

Peter Fray

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