Greeting from Flav's Fried Chicken in CLinton -I mean The Mill in Iowa City - where a bunch of us Obamabots are gathered to watch the state of the union.
There will be an empty chair in the Arizona delegation, and as we're watching MSNBC an empty chair there as well. Too much bipartisanship to keep track of, but I did notice Elliot Engel of NY got his aisle seat.
I myself did not bring a bipartisan seating date, but I have a spare seat if any of my Republican readers show up. We got 80 or so bodies here as the Cabinet walks in (on screen, not into the Mill) I see Kerry and McCain together in the unity of losership, though my understanding was that AZ is sitting together.
Thanks to the White House press office: An advance transcript makes live blogging waaay easier.
Boswell on the aisle as the Prez strolls in. Next table over is playing SPot The Congressman, which is one of my favorite games too. I'll miss the dichotomy of the standing and sitting, but not as much as I'll miss seeing Pelosi on the rostrum. Adjust the color on your sets for bright orange...
Applause at the Mill as Prez starts speech.
The empty Giffords chair is next to Raul Grijalva (as is the district) Prez picks up where he left off in AZ speech:
We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.
"What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow."
"We will move forward together, or not at all" (not at all...)
Is Cantor twittering yet?
I got your American Exceptionalism right here:
America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.But Boehner doesn't well up. Sorry for the snark, I just don't have this Bipartisanship (TM) thing yet.
What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That is why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. It’s why our students don’t just memorize equations, but answer questions like “What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?”
"Facebook" gets incongruous mono-applause from one live audience member, to the amusement of the Mill crowd.
This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people."Clean energy technology" gets a big hand at the Mill. "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015."
"And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies" Iowa City loved that one. Boehner not so much. Derisive laughter at "clean coal" but that was for Joe Manchin, not the Mill.
"We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair" Bear fans are sore losers.
President briefly channels Cuba Gooding: “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.” He knows from caucus time that "and no child left behind" is an automatic applause line.
Neighbors note that the Lenny Skutnik examples are all from swing states.
Harkin spotted; sitting with Pat Leahy.
"If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child – become a teacher. Your country needs you" hgets a spotty congressional standing o. In general Bipartisanship (TM) has them sitting more.
"Last month, I saw the promise of these schools at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina" SWING STATE! "Many of the students there used to work in the surrounding factories that have since left town. One mother of two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old." Poor Kathy is spotted in the gallery pointing at herself and mouthing "that's me."
Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let’s agree to make that effort. And let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.Camera on Kerry and McCain as he said this. (shouldabeenme shouldabeenme shouldabeenme...)
"To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet." (Is Branstad watching?)
"For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down." Yes the joke was in the script. As prez says "Iowa or AlaBAMA" CAMERA CATCHES GRASSLEY YAWNING
Didn't mean the all caps but I left it. ZZZZZ
Token references to trade... Health care coming up soon...
we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients.
Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.
What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition.Not Everyone likes...
I’m not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I’m not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business owner from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage. So instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.
"But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in." ("raise taxes" says Iowa City, booing as Bachmann is on camera) As Obama discusses domestic cuts, someone says "get out of the war."
"Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact." Boehner laughs Biden doesn't.
And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break. It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.Iowa City roars with approval. Bernie Sanders on camera.
Here's your bipartisanship: get rid of waste and inefficiency! And apple pie is good! (but Joe likes the smoked salmon line)
"if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it." McCain likes, but your earmarks are my district's jobs...
"America’s commitment has been kept; the Iraq War is coming to an end." Mild applause in Iowa City, more out of doubt.
"This year, we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead. And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home." Again, cautious support in IC.
"we will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you." (That's what he said about the Bears too...)
Obama to Rio for Carnaval? Trying to figure out if South Sudan and Tunisa are swing states.
Troops as always get biggest applause from Congress. Iowa City holds applause for Hiawatha's Sal Giunta and for "yes some of them are gay."
More American exceptionalism: "And yet, as contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be, I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth."
That dream is why I can stand here before you tonight. That dream is why a working class kid from Scranton can stand behind me. That dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father’s Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth.Waaaaaaaah.... and he really does..
Verbal slip as Obama talks of rescue workers working "three or four hour days." Now THAT's a good contract!
As we wind down, the embrace of American Exceptionalism is what I'm taking away. Not that he hasn't before, but that's been one of the right's more ridiculous criticisms. He throws in "the state of our union is strong" at the very end, not at the beginning where it usually goes.
This crowd is extremely unlikely to stick around for Ryan and Bachmann.
Chris Matthews appears to be feeling the old Obama Tingle. MSN crew almost looks like it DID set up an empty chair, with a big gap between O'Donnell and Maddow. Ed Schultz seems to also be taking away the Greatness of America thing. I grew up on Reagan doing that, but it worked for him.