More of a campaign speech (for obvious reasons) than a real State of the Union address, in that it’s a long list of big and small policy proposals and assertions of ideas that should be popular in concept, but difficult/expensive/impossible in implementation. I appreciate the aim, but I’m skeptical of the execution.

It’s also interesting to see him walk the line between what a President is actually capable of (“Give me this bill, and I will sign it so fast your head will spin”) and what most people believe a President is capable of (all the “not on my watch” posturing, and the demands of States to do more with education for less).

Also, I think it’s rather obvious that the majority of the American people don’t know what the right choice is, Mr. President. They know what the simplest choice that helps them, as individuals, out the most is. The silence that greeted your argument for a higher tax rate on the rich is evidence enough that there is a fundamental disconnect between those in Congress, the American people, and what is “good” or “right” or “common sense.” And never the trine [that’s the best I can come up with as an equivalence of “twain”] shall meet.

And finally, the cynical, privileged, #firstworldproblems side of me is always very distrustful of proclamations of American supremacy and exceptionalism. He claims America is still the one indispensable nation on Earth; it’s not that I don’t wish that was true, but I would actually be worried if it still was. There’s something very insincere and ungrateful in me in that belief, but it’s something I can no longer shake.

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