Last night the President of the United States spoke to the nation about the state of the union. I didn't see all of it -- but watched a considerable portion on CSPAN (Here is a link to a transcript). Before turning to CSPAN I watched for a few minutes the conversation at CNN. Typical, the Republicans didn't like the speech, more Democratic commentators did. Gloria Borger was amazed it took 25 minutes to get to health care, but then it appears that Americans are tired of that conversation. But, as I watched the middle section of the speech, I heard him take up health care -- in context. He made it clear that we've gotten this close to reform, and so we can't let it drop now. He admitted that he hadn't done a good job telling the story -- but he put it in context in the speech. Indeed, he remains committed as ever, but it needs to be seen in context of bettering our economic situation.
The economy was the focus of his attention -- he reminded Congress (and us) that he came into office with a crisis already afoot. He had to focus on things like upholding the banks -- not because he loves Wall Street, but because a collapse of Wall Street would have affected Main Street. But, now its time to get focused on Main Street -- where we all live and work.
Now, as a Democrat, I appreciated the "partisan" points -- especially his reminding the Democrats in Congress that they continue to have substantial majorities, and also telling Republicans in the Senate not to make 60 votes in the Senate a requirement for doing any business in Congress.
As I watched him speak, I saw the humor come back, the smile, the comfortable nature of earlier speeches. It seemed as if he'd broken out of the straitjacket that's been holding him in. Barack Obama is a serious fellow. A scholar, a thoughtful person. I like that in him -- maybe that's because I see a bit of myself in him.
The message has been delivered, both parties have been enjoined to come together and do the business of the country and not make every day a campaign day. America has a bright future -- if we're willing to work together. That's a good message to take home!