10:23 Okay—signing off, babies. Nice being with you tonight. Until next year ...
10:18 Blitz says he's going to show the results of a poll of Americans who (breath) watched the president's speech. I'm about to give up on Rand Paul, who did telelgraph earlier today a pro-immigrant message.
10:14 Trying to watch Rand Paul streaming here, but it's not working for me. Meanwhile on Fox, Frank Luntz is in a focus group full of very strange people, but none as strange as Luntz.
10:04 Fox is now with Mark Fuhrman, introducing the LAPD press conference. CNN on the press conference, too. Will Rand Paul appear only on MSNBC?
9:55 Gergen declares it's "glorious" that State of the Union is delivered by black guy and Republican response delivered by Latino. But David, this country won't really be free until you can appear on TV without your comb-over.
9:53 Chris Cuomo has a sense of humor. And he's on CNN. This is quite a night indeed.
9:50 Fox, still analyzing the president's speech with the bing thing: "Let's listen to what hte president said about tax reform, and then we'll tell you what you thought."
9:47 The water shortage was the only thing anyone will ever remember from the Rubio speech. These response speeches never do anybody any good. Off to get more wine for the Paul speech.
9:42 Thank CHRIST.
9:38 Get this man a glass of water!
9:35 Rubio: "I don't oppose your plan because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plan because I want to protect my neighbors." Good line, well delivered.
9:33 I'm swearing a lot.
9:31 "America is exceptional because we believe every life, at every stage, is precious," sez Rubio in Republican response. Right. Because Swedes, like the honey badger, don't give a shit.
9:28 Fox is using the terribly scientific "bing pulse" graph to see which of Obama's lines inspired orangutans to masturbate and which made them pick their asses.
9:27 John King wouldn't say shit if he had a mouth full of it. And he does. To Fox.
9:25 "This is the most pro-government speech since Lyndon Johnson." Sez Gingrich, on CNN. And he might be right. (Jennifer Granholm must have been thrilled when they told her she'd be sitting next to Newt.)
9:23 Sharpton is the worst even when he's at his best. And tonight he is not at his best.
9:18 Now: Until Republican and Tea Party responses, should I listen to MSNBC try to sound credibly objective, or CNN try to sound interesting?
9:16 A super-elegant closing, and (almost) left me wanting more. And I really loathe the average State of the Union speech.
9:12 "They deserve a vote. Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote .... They deserve a simple vote." I can't remember a more campaign-speech moment in this chamber. Can you?
9:10 I don't quite get Obama's rhetorical fixation on birthdays and graduations missed because of murder.
9:10 And just when you think he's slipping into the conventional, he brings up something he's never talked about before—the voting experience—and launches hard into Newtown. "But this time it's different."
9:07 And now we've entered the compulsory niceties section of the speech.
8:59 All my liberal Facebook friends seem borderline ecstatic. The conservatives are silent aside from possibly one, who put a little winky-sign next to her opinion that we're going to experience a New Deal.
8:56 Oh, Joe. I love you so. But you're not the show.
8:51 "No one who works full time should have to live in poverty." Massive statement.
8:50 And comprehensive immigration reform. I'm not sure he even has time to finish this speech!
8:47 The college scorecard is a brick in the grand canyon, but for whatever it's worth, I do think this is the first time a president declared high college costs a problem to be solved.
8:44 Publicly funded preschool for every American child? That's the boldest thing he's ever proposed on education, a subject he's been weak on forever.
8:42 I can't remember seeing a more physically confident, relaxed-looking president deliver a SOTU. Can you?
8:40 I believe he just challenged businesses to help government "build that."
8:34 Three hubs plus 15 hubs. Eighteen hubs, and a dozen roses! And the laundry list is on.
8:30 Biden seems like he's had a couple martinis tonight. But who am I to talk?
8:29 Did Biden just cough "bullshit" into his fist?
8:27 "Our government shouldn't make promises we can't keep." If Keenan was really fresh, Obama would have said, "Washington's mouth shouldn't write checks that our ass can't cash."
8:24 "These cuts—known here in Washington as 'the sequester'" ... that's a pretty economical way to wink at everybody outside the hall.
8:19 Listen for freshness introduced by Obama's new speechwriter, Cody Keenan. How on earth did Jon Favreau do it so long?
8:13 I wonder if President Obama has, by this point, any nerves at all before a speech like this. Hard to imagine he doesn't, I guess. But also hard to imagine he does.
8:12 Can anyone tell us in specific terms what was the original meaning of "laundry list"?
7:57 Gergen says president has to avoid being boring. Gergen says the president has to avoid being boring.
7:55 On CNN, listening to Blitz (as Herman Cain and I call him) breathe at the exact wrong time—right in the middle of phrases in his (breath) sentences—and all is beginning to feel right with the (breath) world.
7:38 I find these live crisis situations (my favorite is an airplane circling around an airport burning fuel before landing on messed up landing-gear) comforting to the point of sleep-inducing. There's a sense that if the news creeps can hover full time over on this singular event, then nothing that's truly worrisome must be going wrong in the world. At what other moment do we get such reassurance?
7:30 Just heard the word "prebuttal" at CSPAN and am scurrying back to the more palatable imbecility on CNN and MSNBC.
7:20 So instead of having nut-job profiler Clint van Zandt analyzing politics, we have political analyst Chris Matthews analyzing a nut job. The dog is sleeping through this just as he slept through last year's SOTU.
7:05 Chris Matthews just came on and remarked that the shootout is messing up the people who want to "savor" the State of the Union Address. God damn it all to hell, that pathetic old man he's describing is me.
6:50 There isn't much enthusiasm for this year's SOTU anyway. We've heard 700 campaign speeches, an acceptance speech and an inaugural address from President Obama. His chief speechwriter has quit, clearly because he can't think of one more fucking thing to say. (As Dylan Thomas once said, in his cups at the White Horse Tavern: "Somebody's boring me. I think it's me." And Gotham Ghostwriters chief Dan Gerstein, the usual ringleader of online SOTU kibbitzing, says he might go out to dinner tonight instead, so presidential-rhetoric weary is he. To paraphrase LBJ: If you've lost Dan Gerstein, you've lost the country. Still, there's Marco Rubio and Rand Paul—and plenty of cable news pundits to make fun of tonight. Here at Writing Boots, we have a motto: Duty. Honor. Snarky.
6:43 If this shootout goes on much longer, we're going to be listening to SOTU analysis from nut-job profiler Clint van Zandt. Which might be interesting, come to think of it.
5:46CST: Running out to pick up a bottle for tonight. While I'm gone, you might read my Huffington Post revelation of the real state of the nation: I did a review, so you didn't have to, of small-town mayors' state-of-the-village addresses. According to them, the country's doing all right as far as their town is concerned, but they can't say as much for the next town over.
We'll begin at 8:00 EST, by which time it'll be a wonder if I can blog at all. You can't possibly know what State of the Union Day is like for the editor of Vital Speeches. Well, not without watching this documentary.