The State of the Union address is a president’s bully pulpit. He is the focal point. The singular concentration and concern of multitudes is all his, all of it blowing across a squared patch of light like a relentless wind.
It is his hour, his moment; one of the great stages of our time. The president had better break through the shell of substance, like a baby chick. Otherwise the pundits will be tapping him on the forehead as though testing for termites.
It always has been such, even before smoking and drinking were capital offenses.
I realize that the less enlightened on the right likely missed the moment, but Barack Obama nailed his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Nailed it with a 5-iron or a hammer — whatever is your tool of choice.
He reached for the center and he got there, even if the prom night seating chart of Congress led to a civil, if subdued, reception.
He also reached for higher things than the mere center. He reached for a new level of greatness, adroitly pointing out that as Americans “we do big things” and “the future is ours to win.”
Of course, he hit all the VIP talking points — the economy, job creation, infrastructure, health care, energy, education, earmarks (he’s against them), bipartisanship and social security.
Calling for unity from a newly divided government, Obama asked Democratic and Republican lawmakers to rally behind his vision of economic revival for an anxious nation, declaring, “We will move forward together or not at all.”