Rich Galen

"As for Vice President Joe Biden's 2009 forecast of "billions and billions and billions of dollars in good, new jobs," the electric car factory at which he made that statement sits idle. Ditto the taxpayer-backed Michigan factory of battery maker LG Chem. Two Energy Department-funded lithium-ion battery makers have gone bankrupt."

He went for (and got) a cheap standing-O for saying "Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America." That's the SOTU equivalent of a lounge singer telling the audience at the Holiday Inn that "you're the best audience I've ever had the honor to sing to."

About ¾ of the way through the speech, Mr. Obama led from behind by urging passage of comprehensive immigration reform which both the House and Senate have been working on with, as far as I can tell, little or no direction from his Administration.

In the foreign policy section, he exhibited an astounding example of chutzpah when he said:

We will keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian."

Here's what the New York Times (not a mouthpiece for the Republican National Committee) scored, just yesterday, "the pressure" the President is putting on Syria:

"By the start of 2013, more than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, were thought to have died and tens of thousands of others had been arrested. More than 400,000 Syrian refugees had registered in neighboring countries, with tens of thousands not registered. In addition, about 2.5 million Syrians needed aid inside the country, with more than 1.2 million displaced domestically, according to the United Nations."

If that's not a successful foreign policy, I don't know what is.

He carefully said that 34,000 soldiers would come home from Afghanistan so that "by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over."

Note, he did not say the war in Afghanistan would be over; only that our war would be over.

He spoke about new laws to reduce "gun violence" (which used to be called "gun control") that was sort of a given; listing the need for more background checks and "tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals."

"If you want to vote no," the President said, "that's your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote."

I think he's right about that. Those kinds of proposals should get a vote, along with things like budget resolutions.

The speech was about 6,500 words so it didn't take very long to deliver.

It didn't last long, and it will not have a long-lasting effect.

Thus is it with almost every State of the Union address.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at