1. “Winning the future?” Seriously Obama? That’s the sound byte that made it onto all of today’s front pages. Who wrote that speech? Because “winning the future” reads painfully. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, because…
2. As I was discussing with Sarah last night, “winning the future” means winning at the expense of other countries in the developed and developing worlds. “We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” It was great for a while that India transformed into a technological mecca, and education in China and South Korea is cool and all, but now that they’re actually getting ahead of us in education and technology, it’s biting us in the ass and we have to keep them at bay, because God forbid our status of superpower ever be seriously threatened from abroad.
3. “We saw that same desire to be free in Tunisia, where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator. And tonight, let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people.” This was nice, I’m glad he at least said something about Tunisia, but what about some specifics on Egypt, where the pseudo-republic government is facing widespread protests and violence? Whatever happens in Egypt is going to heavily influence the direction of this Arab “revolution.” Also in terms of Egypt, Obama did not say anything related to his 2009 Cairo speech. He said that “No single wall separates East and West,” but I wanted more about U.S.-Arab relations and the Middle East. And that’s not just a selfish request, because the President’s foreign affairs campaign platform was rooted in better relations with Arab countries.
4. It wasn’t inspirational. I, along with everyone else, was hoping for a Tucson-esque tone that would reinvigorate those he has perhaps alienated since assuming office. It is the State of the Union, it had to be broad and somewhat vague, but in the end it was dull. It’s a shame how disenchanted I’ve become with Obama.
5. NO MENTION OF THE OIL SPILL. NONE. For all that talk about clean energy, nothing about the worst ecological disaster in the history of the United States.
6. The FLOTUS’s dress was ugly and ill-fitting.
7. Oh, so now the U.S. is getting a light rail system in a few decades? You know this country is really behind on infrastructure when Jerusalem finally opened its own light rail system late last year after years of construction and setbacks, and the U.S. has yet to even conceptualize one. And whatever trains we get here in America, they’re never going to be as cool as the European ones.
Things I did like: the guy who saved the Chilean Miners; the camera pan to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at “And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love;” the salmon joke; and Obama’s dye job.