Tonight was the rematch of Bush vs. Webb. Here's my take on the action:
President Bush's speech was good. He seemed relaxed and confident. Of course, it felt like the speech was less important than past SOTU speeches, primarily because of his lame duck status. Personally, I felt the most touching part was the tribute to Wesley Autrey, the heroic man who jumped onto subway tracks to save another person. It was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's tribute to Lenny Skutnik.
The Dems were wise to pick Senator Jim Webb -- if for no other reason than that he currently has a son serving in the military. Although I strongly disagreed with the premise of Sen. Webb's rebuttal, I believe that (from a stylistic standpoint), he performed very well (especially considering his limitations). He seemed likable (he smiled) and I thought that pulling out the "prop" picture of his father was a nice touch. It won't be enough to persuade me -- or Townhall readers -- but if any average people were still watching at 10:15, I think they would have come away liking Webb.
Both sides, it seemed, were trying their best to come across as likable and non partisan. (Although, Chris Matthews on MSNBC did point out that President Bush broke from the script and referred to the "Democrat" Party, rather than the "Democratic" Party.)
Because both sides were trying to sound bi-partisan, this rematch turned out to be the sequel that didn't live up to the billing (sort of like how I felt about Wayne's World II).
I'd give Bush the edge in the rematch, but then, I'm biased ...