What did you think of the president’s speech tonight? I thought he did really well. For one thing, it’s always great to hear a president go into detail with an issue of critical strategic importance. I hate those speeches in which serious world affairs are jammed in in bits and pieces among vote-winning domestic promises and heart-warming anecdotes about people strategically placed in the audience.
This was all bidness, and all very serious business. And the president rose to the occasion well. He spoke in complete sentences, complete thoughts, and he clearly showed how those thoughts were related. He built his argument as a thing of geometric beauty.
You know who he reminded me of? Tony Blair. You know that, coming from me, that is high praise indeed. But it’s been awhile since we’ve had a president who could explain so clearly and thoroughly the need for a national commitment as well as Tony Blair did, and President Obama’s speech was Blairesque.
Speaking of Tony, you know what really frosts me about the British people? Large swathes of them still believe that their man was a sort of lapdog bullied into supporting the Iraq endeavor by that crazy cowboy in Washington. That is deeply insulting — to Blair, to Britain and to the English language (and to the crazy cowboy, too). Not since Churchill had they heard a man explain so clearly and eloquently why the nation needed to be doing something. I used to wish often and loudly that Tony could have done all the talking for the Western alliance about Iraq, because he understood why we were there so much more clearly that W. did. Or at least, he could explain it so much better.
I say that with all due respect to those who disagree. The president respectfully presented his disagreement tonight. I’m just saying that Tony explained MY point of view better than anyone, and many times over the past few years I have wished he could be my president. The European Union demonstrates just how dysfunctional it is by not overwhelmingly choosing him to be their president.
But I digress. Back to my point: President Obama did a good job tonight.
For my part, I spent the latter part of the speech consulting with my crack panel of experts, who spent most of the time trying to learn to say “Obama.” I tried to get them to say “President,” but that was a bit tricky for them, so we stuck to Obama. By the end, the older twin seized a pen and seemed prepared to write her commentary, so we had to wrap up the video.
And if you don’t like video of super-cute little girls, just don’t watch.