The blogosphere, it appears, may have had as much trouble staying awake during Tuesday night's State of the Union address as presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain did. Bloggers used such descriptions as "lethargic," "tepid," "substanceless" and "on Dramamine" in analyzing the president's annual address before Congress, his cabinet and the nation.
Facing a Democratic-controlled Senate and House, sagging poll numbers and ever-growing opposition to his latest Iraq war plans, Bush outlined a series of domestic policy ideas, some of which he knows have little chance in a Democratic Congress, while avoiding polarizing proposals he touched on in previous years.
Lullaby references aside, some bloggers thought he did well under the circumstances.
"What do I think? It was an effective speech, probably more so than last year. He gave the Democrats plenty of openings for opportunities for bipartisanship," said Ed Morrisey on Captain's Quarters.
Wrote Hank Green of the blog EcoGeek, "...while I spent most of the time pausing on TiVo so my family could rant about his policies, it was nice to hear the man talk without the force of a majority behind him."
Iraq, of course, assumed a central place in bloggers' SOTU posts, which reflected the deep divide over Bush's plans for a troop surge.
Bloggers from both sides of the aisle got in on the debate over whether McCain (R-Ariz.) used the 49-minute speech as a chance to catch up on a little shut-eye. (Decide for yourself; naturally, there's a video up on YouTube.)
And they had an equally entertaining time watching Nancy Pelosi, who took a historic seat behind the president as the first female speaker of the House, trying not to flinch too obviously as the president laid out his vision.
"It wasn't President Bush who captivated me but the speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi, who managed to blink at least once per second for an entire hour," read the blog Animam Recro. "She also seemed to be clenching her jaw a whole lot...I'm no psychiatrist so I can't say what's going on with her, but it certainly doesn't seem normal."
Since when is that a word used to describe politicians?
Blog community response:
"Bush, for all of his many tragic flaws, is capable of delivering a decent speech, just so long as we put the merit of his ideas aside while listening. With this in mind, last night was just...boring. Anticlimactic. Void of soaring rhetoric and almost anything of any interest at all."
--The Carpetbagger Report
"I watched the State Of The Union Address last night and came away impressed. When Bush spoke about the War on Terror the look of determination on his face told me that he was not going to back down. He was not going to lose this war on his watch and that gave me comfort."
"For all the conviction Bush displayed at the podium, he might just as well have mailed it in. For the most part, his State of the Union was simply a litany of endless promises, strung together with no transition, no plan, no passion, and no hope of becoming law."
--The Hill's pundits blog
"As State of the Union addresses go, it wasn't tediously long and self serving, like Bill Clinton's 2000 address. But it wasn't a barn-burner, like some of Bush's earlier speeches in the House chamber."
--New York Young Republican Record