You've already read about what happened last night in Obama's State of the Union: the casual tone, the tension with the justices. There are, however, some things you might not have heard. A few big items went unmentioned:
- Anti-Banker Rhetoric Populism there was, but anti-banker populism there was not--or at least so feel the banking elite in Davos, according to New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin. Though there were certainly digs at Wall Street, financiers were apparently particularly interested in the sentence "I am not interested in punishing banks. I'm interested in protecting our economy."
- National Security and the War on Terror As the Wire pointed out yesterday in our "first reactions" post, Jena McNeil for the Heritage Foundation was struck by the absence of anything more than a passing reference to terrorism. The National Review's Pete Hesgeth agrees that national security seemed like "an afterthought."
- Iran "What a wasted opportunity," responds The Weekly Standard's John Noonan, complaining about the paltry two sentences mentioning Iran's increasing isolation. "One line mentioning the Iranian democratic movement would have emboldened the Islamic Republic's freedom fighters to immeasurable proportions.
- Foreign Policy in General "By my count," says Commentary's Max Boot, "in a speech of 7,077 words, only 932--13 percent--were devoted to America's role abroad, despite the fact that Obama's most important responsibility is to act as commander in chief in wartime."
- Specifics on Health Care Kevin Drum "Obama never really explained what the current bills do except in the
very broadest sense ... He also declined to say what he
wanted Congress to do next. I didn't want some big wonky explanation of
reconciliation and so forth, but I really wished he'd at least said
something about the fact that we have a bill in place right now and then urged the House to pass that bill and the Senate to agree to changes." As the Wire noted last night, Newsweek's Sarah Kliff agrees.