It is always tough to blog a speech like that for me because I just don’t type fast enough to keep up. What I have blogged is what I could keep up with and what I felt was important.
First off, I think the President did a great job of speaking tonight. It is no secret he has bumbled and fumbled while speaking in the past. He had no particular speaking challenges tonight.
I like how he came out speaking about the economy. It seems to me many Americans have concerns about the health of the economy. The economy is very strong, and President Bush highlighted some numbers that indicate that, including 41 continuous months of job growth.
Staying with the topic of money, the President moved on to budgeting and the deficit. I am not sure how he urged spending discipline without a sense of irony. This President has allowed congress spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave without the single use of a veto due to financial concerns.
The President also talked about earmarks, making the transparent, and cutting them back. As a fiscal conservative, that’s music to my ears.
The President made some points on health care that I can’t agree with more. We need serious reform in health care. He touched on one aspect that gets very little attention; protecting good doctors from bad law suits. By lowering the number of malpractice suits, we will lower the cost of malpractice insurance, which will cut the cost of health care. He also emphasized ways we can provide health care to more Americans without socializing medicine.
As far as immigration goes, his speech was nothing more that conflicting rhetoric. All it said to me is that nothing will really get accomplished on immigration in the next two years.
That brings us to Iraq. There was nothing new or earth shattering about this portion. He outline some benchmarks including Iraqis voting, but didn’t say much new. He did outline his plan for the 20,000 additional troops, but we had already heard much of that.
I will have my thoughts on Jim Webb’s response later.