Political Animal


February 12, 2013 10:48 PM SOTU Live-Blog: Final Thoughts

By Ed Kilgore

Well, Rand Paul will soon be delivering his own “response” to the SOTU Address on behalf of the Tea Party Express, via a live-stream at Red State, but I don’t really have the patience to wait for it or sit through it. It’s hard to imagine him getting to the right of Rubio in any event, thought he may try.

I’ll try to absorb the various “analysis,” spin, and snap polls overnight. But while Obama’s speech probably won’t move public opinion mountains, and he may have been a mite subtle in calling out the GOP, it was a strong performance that left Republicans looking either clueless (Rubio) or uncomfortable (Boehner). On the big issues, Obama and Democrats were already playing from a stronger hand, and he strengthened it on a pretty broad front tonight.

Feel free to offer your summary thoughts in the comment thread; I’m sure I missed some important things sitting here listening and typing and only occasionally glancing at the screen.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Robert on February 12, 2013 11:05 PM:

    I watched ol' John Boehner's face the entire time...I can almost tell you just by eye roll, mouth droop, or cough, just how this next congress is going to be...

  • deanarms on February 12, 2013 11:09 PM:

    I found it funny that Jindal on Brian Williams seemed to have more gravitas than Rubio. Hillary will chew him up and spit him out. Pure callowness.

  • Ken Burd on February 12, 2013 11:48 PM:


    I am not sure what you were hearing. I believe this was one of Obama's best speeches. How you think him to be too subtle escapes me. Please explain.

  • Bo on February 12, 2013 11:52 PM:

    Weeping Johnny B. looked like he wished he were anywhere other than listening to the SOTU. He really wanted to be sitting outside on the Capitol steps sucking on a cigarette and drinking single malt Scotch out of a bottle in a brown bag.

    Doogie Hauser Ryan was equally disinterested. The poor little snot figured he should be sitting in Joe Biden's chair listening to The MittWit tonight.

  • smartalek on February 13, 2013 12:20 AM:

    @ Bo -- I think you meant "uninterested," meaning "uninvolved" or "bored spitless?" "Disinterested" means "impartial," or "without a personal stake, or interest, in the outcome" -- as in, a member of the loser party.
    (Sorry, occupational hazard. I'm a teacher, and it's hard to turn it off, even when off-duty.)

  • Rick B on February 13, 2013 12:28 AM:

    @Ken Burd

    Do you think it possible that Obama succeeded in delivering a speech that was mostly a "dog whistle" to Democrats?

    That's "dog whistle" in the sense that the message from Obama meant one thing to us and the conservatives have taken it very differently - much more negatively and as a threat to them.

    I haven't checked yet I wonder how the firedoglake crew took the SOTU?

  • Ken Burd on February 13, 2013 12:56 AM:

    To Rick B,



  • c u n d gulag on February 13, 2013 7:29 AM:

    Thanks for the summary, Ed.

    I missed the SOTU for the first time since Bush I was President.

    I was too pooped to watch Obama talk sense, while the other side responded with the usual nonsense.

  • MuddyLee on February 13, 2013 7:34 AM:

    WATCHED the speech on TV this time - didn't just listen on NPR - I am no expert, but the republican faces are not very inspiring: Boehner, Ryan, Graham, McCain, Rubio, and the special guest TED NUGENT vs B Obama, M Obama, Kerry, Biden, Pelosi (ok, Reid doesn't do much for me), Warren, John Lewis, Jim Clyburn. The Dems win the visual game hands down. Rubio acted like the Reagan era never happened and like all the Bush tax cuts had been repealed - the republicans got every thing they ever wanted out of Reagan and the Bush presidencies - if he wants to help people, why didn't he call for an end to the Cuban boycott and all the anti-travel policies. He made no case for how the magic "balanced budget" helps the economy and unemployment. He did not explain why the CEOs make more than ever but can't afford to provide health insurance for the workers at the bottom. I'm glad that his parents lived to be 65 so they could get Medicare coverage, and glad you got your student loan, Marco: thank a Democrat.

  • j on February 13, 2013 8:22 AM:

    Gulag - how could you not watch?
    I especially wanted to hear your take on the Rubio rebuttal.