8:48--A few years ago it was the Axis of Evil. Now it's Syria. Iran, too. And finally: a message for the Iranian people. "As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." I've never understood why we don't do more of this.
8:53--Good stuff on the Iraqi election. "They have earned the respect of us all." Frankly, with the way events have gone over the past year, that respect has been understandably lacking. That started to change on Sunday, I think. More good stuff--the Iraqi human rights activist is introduced.
8:56--The stuff on the benefits of Iraqi freedom is powerful. Back to back shots of Hillary and John Kerry applauding, but not looking happy. Kerry looks sick, too.
8:57--A tribute to the troops--good climax. The Sgt. Norwood story is powerful. Mrs. Norwood gets a grateful hug and thanks from the Iraqi woman next to Laura Bush. Planned or not, it's the missing bit of stagecraft. The applause goes on and on, as it should.
On the whole, an excellent job. Bush came out swinging on the two key issues: Social Security and the benefits of the war in Iraq. As usual, the President is his own best spokesman. He made the Social Security case well, but punted, essentially, on the transition issue. For now, though, that's probably the right approach. Sell people on the need for and desirability of change, then work with Congress on the details. And on Iraq, he was impassioned and effective. The embrace between the Iraqi activist and Mrs. Norwood was powerfully emotional and symbolic, summing up at once the sacrifice, the purpose and the progress of the Iraq war. And reminding us that the military is overwhelmingly behind this President.
Just checked the live blogging at powerline - insipid, pandering, disgusting crap, but about what I expected. An excerpt: