This morning was an unusual experience, watching the State of the Union speech while chatting with my wife on instant messenger. Unusual because before 9/11, we would have likely rented a movie during a Presidential speech. Now we both watched, she in Minnesota and me in Iraq. We were both interested more in the various reactions to the speech than the speech itself. Besides the different reactions from the two parties, the reactions of two other groups made me curious. First the military members present, mostly the Joint Chiefs, and the Supreme Court justices. Both seemed to have different guidelines for when it was OK to clap or cheer. I wonder how much protocol goes into nationally televised events like that, and who decides what is appropriate, or if it is all decided by tradition.
As for the speech itself, most of the broad ideas had been leaked to the media, so there wasn't much new or exciting. But there was one line I really liked. "Whatever what you voted for, you did not vote for failure". Too many politicians in America today seem to be gleefully expecting a US defeat here in Iraq, just for the political advantage they would gain. That is truly sad. No matter what I thought of President Clinton personally, I never once wanted the US military to fail so that he would be embarrassed. What will the Democrats so I wonder, if the surge works and the situation in Iraq dramatically improves.