Welcome to our liveblog! We are fortified with snacks and I have some vodka and hopefully there will be cookies soon (this is Meghan here). Feel free to join in the comments and let us know what your thoughts are as we go along!
9:01 PM – Meghan: For some reason I expected the speech itself to start right at 9. Now there’s just a bunch of suits milling around awkwardly, like it’s prom and they’re all circling a punch bowl.
9:02 PM – Meghan: I love the cut and color of Michelle’s dress. The boatneck silvery-oatmeal look is good on her….aaaaand we’re back to random shots of the back of old peoples’ heads. (I’m watching the White House feed by the way).
9:05 PM – Meghan: They just announced “Mr. Speaker – The President of the United States!” Everyone’s clapping! Wheeeeeee! (this right after my husband Nathan was like, “Where’s the President? What’s going on?”)
9:08 PM – Meghan: The stamina these Washingtonians are sustaining in claps probably took more energy than they’ve expended in like, 6 months….
9:10 PM – Meghan: Is Boehner’s tie purple or pink? Is it a comment on bipartisanship? Will he cry? The answer to at least one of those questions, coming up!
9:11 PM – Meghan: It’s big of Obama to congratulate Boehner.
9:12: PM – Meghan: He mentions Gabby Giffords which counts as a Tucson reference. If you’re playing a drinking game, you probably just took at least two shots.
9:13 PM – Meghan: Obama discussing bipartisanship – everyone called this! I wish instead of saying “robust democracy demands” spirited debates he was just like, “Republicans are acting ridiculous! They’re like mules stuck in the river! What I’m saying is they’re jackasses!”
9:15 PM – Meghan: hahahahaha, “Boehner voodoo doll.” Selena, I will pay you 20 clams for one. Especially if it’s dyed orange.
9:17 PM- Meghan: By saying that “the economy is growing again” but we really measure economy by “jobs [people] can find,” Obama’s kind of doing something radical by drawing a line in the sand between corporate profits and private quality of life. Good on him.
9:18 PM – Meghan: It’s like a Persephone shout-out when Obama says any business can make it “with an internet connection”
9:20 PM – Meghan: I’m laughing at the quote “That’s why our students don’t just do equations, they answer questions like ‘What do you think of that idea?'” LOL. Is this kind of cheesy to anyone else? Like, I think it’s a great speech, but it’s also making me crack up a bit because I can imagine Jimmy Stewart earnestly saying this stuff.
9:22 PM – Meghan: Segueway to talking about education, ahoy!
9:22 PM – Meghan: Ewwwwwwwwww, don’t namecheck Facebook, Mr. President. Just don’t.
9:24 PM – Meghan: JINKS ON FACEBOOK, SELENA (thinking about how we both posted on that just made me miss a couple minutes of speech)
9:27 PM – Meghan: “I don’t know if you noticed but they’re doing just fine on their own” DUDE, Obama just burned the oil companies. And when he said that, did you guys hear the nervous twittering in the audience?
9:28 PM – Meghan: That was actually Sally in the comments with the Facebook reference: Hi, Sally! :waves:
9:29 – Meghan: With that whole celebrating Superbowl winner v. science fair winner, Obama sounded frighteningly like my dad.
9:30 – Meghan: I’ve never heard of “Race to the Top.” Am I uneducated or has that just not gotten much air time?
9:31 – Meghan: Obama mentioned Bruce Randolph school in Denver – Shout-out to Coloradans!
9:33 – Meghan: I’m a little skeptical about bringing in so many new teachers – of course, science/technology/math are super-important, but I’m not sure that the problem is a shortage of teachers. I will just defer to Selena and Sally on this one, since they have first-hand experience.
9:35 – Meghan: Aw, crud, my feed just froze.
9:36 – Meghan: We’re back! And YES I am so glad Obama is talking about immigrant children. I don’t think the DREAM Act stands a chance in the new Congress, but I appreciate him talking about comprehensive immigration reform.
9:37 – Meghan: “From high speed rail to high speed internet” – visions of steampunk just flashed across my brain. But for real, having lived overseas, America’s public transport kind of sucks.
9:39 – Meghan: @Selena Ok, that makes sense, especially if the types of teachers most in demand are among all those retirees.
9:41 – Meghan: Wouldn’t it be sweet instead of just talking about internet access Obama mentioned the net neutrality act? I’d love to know his personal opinion on it.
9:42 – Meghan: “Corporate tax” is one of those buzzwords that makes my liberal brain go “Yes! Good, I like that thing!” but Obama’s calling to lower it “for the first time in 25 years.” So maybe Obama is schooling me now.
9:43 – Meghan: @Sally – I was just reading an article about how hard it is for Gen. X/Y people to compete with Boomers, who are taking far later retirement ages, so I agree with you 100%.
9:44 – Meghan: “That’s why our food is safe to drink … our air is safe to breathe” HAHAHAHA. Stop lying, Mr. President. Maybe I’ve just watched too many documentaries about Monsanto but holy hell, you do not know when you will catch salmonella in this country.
9:45 – Meghan: “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” – Thank you, Obama, this is what needed to be said.
9:47 – Meghan: Segueway into the unsustainability of our government spending beyond its means. Obama proposes we “freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years.” Should I be shocked by this? Because I kind of am.
9:48 – Meghan: You better believe the Defense Department should be pledging to eliminate “tens of billions of dollars.” I say this as a spouse of military dude–they get a lot of money and we get a lot of benefits. It makes me embarrassed sometimes.
9:50 – Meghan: “Only way to tackle our deficit spending is to tackle it wherever we find it” – well, duh. I think I would be a good President. But I’ve also had a lot of vodka so that’s effecting my ability to reason. (but not to type cuz I’m awesome!)
9:54 – Meghan: I predict the fresh salmon vs. saltwater vs. smoked will be a talking point in columns about this #sotu. Also, I love how everyone tittered for a minute then started clapping out loud because they couldn’t stand the silence.
9:55 – Meghan: So we’ll be able to go to a website and see exactly how our tax dollars are spent? That’s exciting! Is that even possible though?
9:56 – Meghan: Obama says he will veto any bill that comes across his desk with earmarks?! Is this one of those “empty promises” or is it for real? Because he must realize the difficulty of implementing such a promise.
9:58 – Meghan: I hate talking about Al Qaeda. I know we need to, but ugh. I have such mixed feelings about our involvement in the Middle East.
10:00 – Meghan: I’m really glad Obama made that comment about accepting Muslim/Middle Eastern Americans in America. That was really necessary.
10:01 – Meghan: Can I just get all personal and weird for a minute? I like what Obama’s saying about bringing home our troops this July, but I’m sad because my husband’s deploying in a year, and that’s not likely to change. I’m really glad our troops are coming home, but I still remember talking to him 2006, when we first met, about how it was so unlikely he would ever deploy because the wars would be over in a few years. Sigh.
10:03 – Meghan: I had not thought Obama would address the current situation in Tunisia, though I think it’s smart that he did.
10:07 – Meghan: Nathan and I decided any comments about supporting troops probably had something to do with PTSD and how soldiers with that specific problem get passed over.
10:08 – Meghan: When Obama said, “I know none of you would trade places with any other country,” Nate and I decided we might trade places with the Swiss or some socialist Northern European country. We’re 90% kidding, though.
10:09 – Meghan: So “working class kid from Scranton” is not referencing Dwight Schrute?
10:11 – Meghan: “We do big things” – can’t argue with that. Though, cynical self talking again, I think the ability to transcend class is a bit exaggerated.
10:13 – Meghan: It’s over already? I thought there would be rhetorical fireworks and fanfare at the end, but this speech seemed to abruptly end.
10:15 – Meghan: @Selena @Sally – Thanks for your well-wishes, I really appreciate it. And YES my Gmail is exploding with comment notifications, but thankfully it’s grouped all of them into three separate emails so I don’t have to go wild deleting stuff.
10:23 – Meghan: I second @Selena –Persephone ticket in 2016! This was too much fun. Goodnight and good luck (see you all tomorrow)!