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Hoorah for the State of the Union! Three Cheers! It’s the best TV I’ve seen in months, and it almost made it worth the pre-empting of Boston Legal! (I said almost.)

Cheer #1—Decorum. Our country has rarely been more divided between Red and Blue states, but on SOTU night, we applaud our democracy. There was applause for all of the Supreme Court judges, even though Senators in the room voted against some of them. There was applause for the President’s Cabinet members, even though their policies run directly opposed to the platforms of nearly half of the Congress members. There was applause for Ms. Pelosi, even though her liberalism is out of step even with others in her party, let alone the Republicans. And, there was applause for the President from both sides of the aisle as he entered the room and several times during the speech.

Cheer #2—Inspiration. There were several moments of special inspiration. The first was President Bush’s welcome of the first “Madam Speaker,” which was almost obligatory, but then he made a non-obligatory second mention, which included tributes to her as well as her father, Congressman Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr. It was heartfelt and warm, and having met the President twice, I recognized this tone in him and knew he “was himself” on this important night. Also inspiring was the mention of several heroes including Dikembe Motumbo (“We’re proud to call this Son of the Congo a citizen of the United States,”), Julie Eigner-Clark, who created “Baby Einstein” and is now producing videos to find missing and exploited children, Wesley Autrey, the New York City subway hero, and Tommy Rieman of the U.S. Army who defended his gunner, refused medical attention, and stayed in the fight to earn a Silver Star.

Finally, I was inspired by the fact that President Bush kept it to 50 minutes, barely half as long as President Clinton’s last speech.

Cheer #3—Humor! I love these humorous moments:

  • Nancy Pelosi really working her lipstick, almost “Saturday Night Live”-ish in the background of the President;
  • Dick Cheney breaking out in an amazingly expressive and full, well, half-smile;
  • Hillary’s “yeah sure” look on several occasions;
  • Ted Kennedy looking like he was nodding off;
  • All of Congress standing to cut the “earmarked” special funds—let’s see who comes through and votes for it on the floor of Congress;
  • Dikembe Motumbo standing so tall it looked like everyone else was sitting;
  • Congressmen and Senators asking (and even falling over each other) for autographs and kisses on The President’s way in, even his opponents, which included the son of Jesse Jackson and some of the most liberal Congressmen in D.C.

Finally, we can all be inspired by the fact that two years from now, we’ll have a new leader that will have risen to power—not with guns or death—but through a wonderful process which is the elective process of The United States of America.

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