Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Bush lame; Kaine safe

The state of the union?

Oy vey...

Bush is still smirky Bush. He probably knows my ilk is wise to him, that he’s a phony on several scores. And, he’s a "fortunate one," who counts on knowing I/we can’t really do much about it.

To call the boilerplate blather of President Bush’s State of the Union address “rhetoric,” or even “propaganda,” elevates it. It was pap. Tonight he had nothing to say; so he said it with utter conviction. Who really believes this oil-bred president wants America's oil addiction cured in our time?

Who can't tell that "W" is a galling son of a president, quite confident he's going to get away with everything he's done to dupe his fellow citizens?

The Democrats' response to Bush’s waste of an hour of primetime television -- I bet the cable TV alternatives’ ratings were boffo during this ho-hum presentation -- was delivered by Virginia’s brand new governor, Richmond's former mayor Tim Kaine. This was a big moment for Kaine, a politician I’ve happily supported over the years.

Kaine presented an upbeat message. Yes, it was better than Bush's. However, the main reason was that it was shorter. Yes, Kaine played it safe.

Bush was directing his blessings at his loyal core audience. Alas, Kaine seemed to have his eye mostly on Virginia's political landscape. Maybe it was smart for Kaine's career. In my book, it was mostly a waste.

It will be interesting to see how Kaine’s rebuttal plays out of town. Maybe my disappointment will fade when I've slept on it.

For tonight, tha, tha, that's all folks!


Josh Chernila said...

Virginia's political landscape is America's political landscape. Republican Red turning Democratic Blue. Mr. Kaine's always been "safe". If Democrats wanted a firebrand they wouldn't have chosen him.

The Kaine model is the model that Democrats believe will win Conservative Democrats and Moderate Republicans - Forget the Culture Wars, and Get the Job Done for the People.

It's right, and for Kaine, it works.

"athaena" said...

I too wonder how Kaine's response will play outside of Virginia, he was saying decent stuff, but I thought his delivery was a bit stilted and thought that his little eyebrow quirk was rather distracting. (And this from someone who was "on his side" in terms of wanting this to go well.)

F.T. Rea said...

Josh: Thanks for the comment. I'm going to write more about Kaine's speech and your comment, as well. For now, I'll say that I don't disagree with the spirit of what you said. However, all it was to me was canned slogans. And, I think there was/is much more in play than that.

athaena: Thanks for writing. I liked it when Kaine bristled and said his speech would be his own thinking. Now I wonder how much he was, in fact, coached and packaged. His message was basic Kaine stuff, as far as it went, but his delivery was oddly styled and perhaps revealed an over-practiced speaker.

Scott said...