A big question for the 2014 SOTU is: will anyone be awake for it? As Peggy Noonan writes
Because when I imagine Barack Obama’s State of the Union, I see a handsome, dignified man standing at the podium and behind him Joe Biden, sleeping. And next to him John Boehner, snoring. And arrayed before the president the members, napping.
No one’s really listening to the president now. He has been for five years a nonstop wind-up talk machine. Most of it has been facile, bland, the same rounded words and rounded sentiments, the same soft accusations and excuses.
The Hill run a piece entitled “Five questions for Obama’s 2014 State Of The Union“, but it’s really more about 5 things to watch for
1. How hard does Obama attack the GOP?
There is little doubt that Obama will use Tuesday’s election-year address to highlight differences between his party and Republicans.
Expect a lot of this, because this is what he does. Obama brings no dignity, no statesmanship, even faked, to the office. They’ll be lots of whining to an essentially captive audience. He has a few agenda items, which he needs Republicans to help pass. And Obama has always found the best way to cooperate is by being a jerk. It helps pump up his moonbat base.
2. How much will be recycled.
The majority of Obama’s 2013 agenda failed to pass. So expect to hear a lot of complaining. The Hill thinks Obama will lay off gun control. I’ll give it 70-30 that he’ll trot it out to pump up his unhinged base that wants to disarm Other People.
3. How will Obama handle ObamaCare?
Too little time will lead to headlines about Obama downplaying his signature achievement, but it seems unlikely the president will want his speech to be dominated by healthcare. That sets up a bit of a dilemma for the speechwriting team.
I expect there to be more than The Hill thinks. Obama will stand up there and lie about how great it is, forgetting that it caused people to lose the plans, doctors, and deductibles they liked. That healthcare.gov is still a mess. That insurers are worried about losing vast gobs of money. That quite a few State marketplaces are failures. Obama will couch this in a way to pump his base up.
4. What will be this year’s surprise?
The Hill offers no guesses. Perhaps he’ll make it about “climate change”, while other nations, particularly Australia and in Europe, are giving the idiocy up. Probably not. It’ll most likely be heavy on “income inequality”, which is funny coming from a guy who’s a 1%er and uses every deduction available to pay the least in taxes he can. This is meant to pump his base up.
5. How will Republicans respond?
Cathy McMorris-Rodgers will give the GOP rebuttal. She will be calm, serious, and offer real world solutions, though some will probably annoy the Conservative base. My bet is on her mostly avoiding Obama, while laying a case for the GOP for the midterms. Except in terms of Obamacare, where she’ll pick around the edges of “If you like your plan, you can keep it” being the lie of the year. It’ll be interesting to see if the GOP has cajones to attack Obama and the Dems forcefully, or if they just pick at the scab.
What happens in chamber will be more interesting. Obama’s SOTU will be about 3 things.
- Pumping up his base for the 2014 midterms
- Narcissistic self flattery
- Demeaning and attacking Republicans
How involved will the Republicans be during the yawnfest? Will they even bother to get to their feet for the “applause lines”? Will they sit their completely disinterested? Will we get a Joe Wilson moment, with someone yelling something while Obama lies about Obamacare or something else? Will anyone appear pissed off as Obama does his “attack personally” schtick? We’ll see.