But given the amount of enthusiasm — e.g., Marc Ambinder gushing about "An Amazing Moment" — I decided — now that it's not late at night anymore — to take the time to watch the video and, as I go, blog from the transcript. Since that will take a little time, let me end this post now, so you can get the conversations started. Here's the video of the speech, and here's the Q&A section.
To give you something to chew on, here's Ambinder:
The moment President Obama began his address to Republicans in Baltimore today, I began to receive e-mails from Democrats: Here's an except from one of them: "I don't know whether to laugh or cry that it took a f$$@&$* year for Obama to step into the ring and start throwing some verbal blows... I'm definitely praying at mass on Sunday morning that this Obama doesn't take another 12 month vacation."Well, that's a funny contrast to Obama's big theme of bipartisanship!
This e-mail comes from a very influential Democrat.Hmm. Who? Some Catholic. Some Catholic who's praying to God that his guys kick the other guys' asses.
Accepting the invitation to speak at the House GOP retreat may turn out to be the smartest decision the White House has made in months. Debating a law professor is kind of foolish...Heh heh... bring it on, baby!
... the Republican House Caucus has managed to turn Obama's weakness -- his penchant for nuance -- into a strength. Plenty of Republicans asked good and probing questions, but Mike Pence, among others, found their arguments simply demolished by the president. (By the way: can we stop with the Obama needs a teleprompter jokes?)Okay, I will be looking for the strengthful nuance that knocks down all arguments.
More than the State of the Union -- or on top of the State of the Union -- this may be a pivotal moment for the future of the presidential agenda on Capitol Hill. (Democrats are loving this. Chris Hayes, The Nation's Washington bureau chief, tweeted that he hadn't liked Obama more since the inauguration.)Got it. The Prez's people loved it. Maybe this wasn't really about inspiring bipartisanship but firing up the base. That's fine. If he does anything well, he deserves credit for the thing he does well. Let's just be clear about what the thing is.
During the presidential campaign, it was John McCain who proposed a form of the British Prime Ministers' questions for the president. It was derided as a gimmick. This is no gimmick. I have not seen a better and perhaps more productive political discussion in this country in...a long time. 90 minutes worth!Like the spending freeze, it was a joke when it was McCain's idea.
Maybe since Al Gore debated Ross Perot on NAFTA. Republicans may have wished they had spoken to John McCain about what happened to him in the presidential debates before they decided to broadcast this session.No, it's the Democrats who shut down the cameras when they think things won't look pretty.
The president looked genuinely engaged, willing to discuss things. Democrats believe that he tossed away the GOP talking points and lack of real plans into a bludgeon against them.How do you toss away the lack of something into a bludgeon? To be fair, it was the "lack of real plans." There could have been some fake plans that, when tossed away... but even if the packet of fake plans hit somebody, it wouldn't feel like a bludgeon. Maybe paper cuts.
"The whole question was structured by a talking point," he told Jeb Hensarling...."He"? Who's "he"? Obama? That Catholic guy? (And sorry about that last link. I thought it was "Hensnarling.") And what "whole question"? Is that a way to refer to all the questions?And is Ambinder's whole blog post copied (sloppily) from a Democratic talking point?
UPDATE: Here's the post I promised to write.