Political Animal


February 12, 2013 9:21 PM SOTU Live-Blog: The Opening

By Ed Kilgore

* John Kerry led the Cabinet in; Steven Chu was the Cabinet member left behind this time to run the government if catastrophe strikes.

* CNN’s John King talking in argumentative way that Obama has to take into account needs of Dem Senators up in 2014. Gergen, who clearly doesn’t like this, says Obama playing to his base. Newt hilarious: Obama will “demonize” Republicans, which is a “rational strategy.” Now Gingrich and Granholm talking over each other. Really want Obama to arrive to shut these people up, before Gergen gets rolling on his “we need a grand bargain” number. Aaargh, too late!

* Ah, here he is. Think it was Maxine Waters who got the first presidential smoochy smoochy.

* Dana Bash reporting on Breakfast With Boehner today: Speaker very “personal” in denouncing Obama for “not having guts to stand up to his party.” Man, he ought to talk….

* Now we can see Boehner live, and he’s only medium orange tonight.

* Obama’s opening: JFK’s “partners for progress.” Nice deft touch: makes bipartisanship contingent. And first boast: troops coming home from Afghanistan. Then right into a positive take on economic trends, and of course, “the state of the union is stronger,” immediately hedged by reflection on unemployment and inequality. Nice contrast of record corporate taxes and stagnant middle-class incomes.

* Record early shout-out to LGBT equality: “…no matter who you love.”

Now that preliminaries over, I’ll switch to new thread.

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.


  • Tiago Silva on February 12, 2013 9:58 PM:

    Where is the liveblog thread updating? I don't see anything.

  • sjw on February 12, 2013 10:03 PM:

    Answer: this is the typical way of doing things here. On other web sites there is a real live blog, with comments every couple of minutes; here it comes in lumps separated by 20 minutes or so. Very odd.

  • brainchild on February 12, 2013 10:27 PM:

    why did SOTU II and III appear below "the rump" and IV appear below "the opening"?? Having everything out of order caused me, for one, to miss the posts as they came out.

  • Tomm Undergod on February 13, 2013 12:16 AM:

    Big Ed on MSNBC misquoted: "The state of the union is strong." NOT what Obama said. Said it was "stronger." Those two words do not mean the same thing. The president did NOT say the union is "strong."