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January 28, 2014 10:24 PM SOTU Review

By Ed Kilgore

In the aftermath, network gabbers mostly talking about Cory Remsberg. They seem to think the moment reflected some genuine bipartisanship that transcended everything else going on in Washington. I dunno about that, but clearly, Remsberg set a new and high standard for Real People in the Gallery.

My general reaction was that this was kind of a minimalist version of one of those second-term Clinton SOTUs that covered a lot of ground and conveyed the sense that the president was snapping his fingers impatiently at the louts sitting down there on the other side of the aisle. I regret he didn’t hit the inequality theme a lot harder—profits sky-high, wages stagnant, long-term unemployed left behind—but he made for some uncomfortable moments for GOP solons on the UI and minimum-wage issues.

It kinda reminds me of the moment after Al Gore’s 2000 Democratic Convention acceptance speech (you know, the one with the kiss). As I stood there beneath the balloon drop, one of Gore’s speechwalkers came by, winked and said: “Whaddya think? Ground-rule double?” “Yep, that’s about right,” I replied.

Right now NBC is showing the snow drifting down in front of the Capitol. Brings back a special memory I had of being on that spot very late at night, watching the snow drift down alone. It can be a beautiful place, with no pols around.

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.

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