Left-of-center political blogger Kevin Drum today quotes the National Review, which offered the best one-sentence summary of last night's State of the Union speech that I've heard: "Whether you love or loath[e] George W. Bush, you can not deny that he has learned how to read a teleprompter."
That's true. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the SOTU was only moderately painful to watch (I was at work, and of course we had to have it running on the newsroom TV). But it wasn't how Bush handled reading his hour's worth of lines that really struck me last night.
I was reading the transcript last night while his speech was playing. The final line of the speech was supposed to read: "... confident of victories to come. / Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America."
He got through "victories to come," the penultimate applause line, and as folks started clapping, he threw in an immediate "God bless America" and practically leapt away from the podium.
Whether or not he's learned to read teleprompters, he still really doesn't want to be behind them.