Last night’s State of the Union address was a big fat zero. That’s not just my opinion. It was confirmed, in fact, when everyone this morning was talking about the way Congressman Michael Grimm got tough with a local New York reporter last night instead of the speech. I guess that tells you about the state of the union. Clearly, the majority no longer puts much stock in what President Obama says anymore and simply tunes him out.
It’s not even the general lukewarm opinion towards the president that led to this reaction. The speech was an odd chicken in every pot push. Consequently, the message just wasn’t very good or believable. The most memorable moment (aside from the tribute to the injured serviceman at the end) was Obama’s reference to John Boehner being brought up by a barkeep. I’ll give him credit there. That was clever and far better than all the other recent stunts he’s pulled (e.g., please see my blog yesterday about the block of cheese event today).
So instead of worrying so much about anything he said in the speech, most people are focused on what happened between Congressman Grimm and the reporter after the speech. For those who missed it, the reporter asked Grimm a few basic “what did you think of the speech” questions before asking him about a campaign finance investigation. Grimm refused to answer and walked away. The reporter then went on camera to make sure (for those who didn’t understand Grimm’s “response” to his question) that the congressman indeed didn’t answer the question.
This wasn’t the end of it. Grimm came back and threatened to throw the reporter over the railing of the balcony where they were standing if he ever did anything like that to him again and to break him in half like a boy (or words to that effect).
Now Twitter is all ablaze with big thumbs down for Grimm over the entire non-event, and Bill de Blasio is actually making a statement about it. The mayor’s reaction is particularly misguided since it seems his time is better spent these days learning how to carry out proper snow removal and preparing for the world’s attention on Super Bowl Sunday than to concern himself with the actions of a local congressman.
In my opinion, the reporter is being incredibly whiny. Don’t be a reporter if you can’t handle tough talk. In this case, nothing was hurt other than the reporter’s feelings which is a huge positive for him since he appears to be about 90 pounds soaking wet and so he likely wouldn’t have fared so well if punches had really been thrown. (Although in this case, let’s face it. Only one punch would have been thrown). Besides, when did everyone get so sensitive and wimpy?
So now everyone is focused on this little incident and barely care to talk much about the State of the Union address. It hasn’t even been 24 hours yet, and I bet if you asked most people what happened in Obama’s speech, they couldn’t tell you. Most know, however, about Grimm and his silly run in with the little reporter. Yes, Grimm is the real deal so people are interested. They’ve long since tired of the president’s old routine of saying the same sort of message in just a different sort of way. It’s sad, though, when the sideshow is more interesting than the main event. It’s also a bad sign for Obama.
The good news for the GOP is that Obama barely touched on his signature achievement, ObamaCare. He obviously knows that any such talk would force Democrats in hotly contested races to give the obligatory standing ovation and that any such action on their part would surely sink their reelection chances and thus his agenda going forward.
While the speech was pale and puny, the hidden message was darker and more destructive. Threatening to go around the Constitution and Congress with his phone and his pen is of great concern.
So the State of the Union address turned out to be just another delivery of the same speech, and Grimm goes on as the reaper of most of the attention from last night.