Joe’s Reading Log

February 1, 2006

Making a Boring Speech Less Boring

Filed under: National Politics — Joe Martin @ 7:07 pm

While I’m on the subject of the State of the Union, S. T. Karnick had some ideas for making the speech more entertaining:

Another nice effect, and one which would emphasize the President’s role
as both leader and team player, would be for him to have one of those
big, clear plastic boards behind him, on which he could tape photos and
write with a dry-erase marker, like a police captain talking to his
team as they chase down a serial killer. Viewers would be fascinated as
they watched the board fill up with words and pictures, and there would
be great suspense as we wondered whether that snapshot on the upper
right which is hanging precariously and even fluttering in the breeze
from the air conditioning was going to fall down, and whether the
President would leave up the phrase about health care expenditures or
erase it in order to write something about China. Now that’s theater!


Clapping Supremely

Filed under: National Politics — Joe Martin @ 7:05 pm

Four justices attended the State of the Union address last night: Justices Roberts, Thomas, Alito, and Breyer. It is an interesting thing to be a Supreme Court justice, the world’s most non-political job, at a State of the Union, one of the world’s most political events. Dana Milbank reports on when the Justices chose to Clap On or Clap Off:

At times, Alito followed the lead of the other three justices who
sat with him in the front row. When Bush said “We love our freedom, and
we will fight to keep it,” Thomas looked at Roberts, who looked at
Breyer, who gave an approving shrug; all four gentlemen stood and gave
unanimous applause.

At other times, Alito showed independence
from his senior colleagues. When Bush delivered the stock line “The
state of our union is strong,” Alito dissented while the other three
robed justices in the front row applauded. When Bush declared that
“liberty is the right and hope of all humanity,” Alito was the only
member of the judicial quartet to provide his concurring applause.

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