What Will Actually Happen at the SOTU

As you well know by now, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address tonight. In case you plan to be busy giving the dog a bath or getting a jump on your taxes, here's what will happen:

1. The speech won't be the longest in history, but it'll probably still be a little long for your taste.

2. Democrats will interrupt Obama with applause approximately four-thousand times, including 850 standing ovations, which will stretch out the speech far beyond the length it needs to be (see number 1).

3. Knowing that this is one of the only times he has something close to the whole nation's attention all year, the President will briefly mention a wide variety of policy issues. After the speech is over, commentators will complain that this was a "laundry list" that they found boring. The viewing public, on the other hand, will be perfectly fine with hearing it.

4. Most of the speech will be taken up with arguing for the same policies Obama has advocated for years. But there will be a few new initiatives, including one or two that make you say, "Actually, that sounds like a great idea." By tomorrow, you and everybody else will have forgotten what they were.

5. Pundits will ask whether the speech will have a meaningful effect on President Obama's approval ratings. The answer is "no," but that won't stop them from asking, since it never has before.

6. Republicans will say the speech was terribly partisan, and as long as President Obama persists in being mean to them, they just won't be able to work with him.

And that's pretty much it. Of course, it's always possible that something unexpected will happen. After all, Ted Nugent, who once made what sounded a lot like a threat to try to assassinate Obama if he were re-elected, will be there. So you never know.

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