Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Will he or won't he?

Ever since Reagan, presidents have taken a few minutes during the State of the Union speech to point out "heroes" in the gallery. These individuals are usally props to support whatever policy the president is currently doing, or advocating. From the January 2004 SOTU: (emp add)
Month by month, Iraqis are assuming more responsibility for their own security and their own future. And tonight we are honored to welcome one of Iraq's most respected leaders: the current President of the Iraqi Governing Council, Adnan Pachachi.

Sir, America stands with you and the Iraqi people as you build a free and peaceful nation.
From the February 2005 SOTU:
One name we honor is Marine Corps Sergeant Byron Norwood of Pflugerville, Texas, who was killed during the assault on Fallujah. His mom, Janet, sent me a letter and told me how much Byron loved being a Marine, and how proud he was to be on the front line against terror. She wrote, "When Byron was home the last time, I said that I wanted to protect him like I had since he was born. He just hugged me and said, 'You've done your job, Mom. Now it is my turn to protect you.'" Ladies and gentlemen, with grateful hearts, we honor freedom's defenders, and our military families, represented here this evening by Sergeant Norwood's mom and dad, Janet and Bill Norwood.
From the January 2006 SOTU:
... those who know the costs also know the stakes. Marine Staff Sergeant Dan Clay was killed last month fighting in Fallujah. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here is what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. ... It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to.... Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting."

Staff Sergeant Dan Clay's wife, Lisa, and his mom and dad, Sara Jo and Bud, are with us this evening. Welcome.
  • Will Bush have any "hero" present during the speech?
  • If so, will it be someone connected with what's going on in Iraq?
This blog votes no in both instances. While it's possible that Bush will include somebody of merit (a medical researcher or volunteer in a charitable organization), it is extremely hard to see an "Iraq hero" being feted.

What say you?

UPDATE: Boy, was I wrong! Bush not only had a "heroes" section, but had four, count 'em, four of them:
  • An immigrant from Africa who gave up the study of medicine in order to become a basketball star. That'll send the right message to the inner city. Spend your time practicing your jump shot instead of reading textbooks.
  • A women who developed a line of children's products that was then sold to Disney for big bucks. Just like those exciting success stories you see on late-night informercials (for systems of trading stock options, making money in real estate, etc). Bush certainly is the salesman-in-chief, isn't he? UPDATE2: Turns out the lady created the "Baby Einstein" product line which is vastly overrated as tool to help kids develop their minds (and may even be counter-productive).
  • The guy who saved a kid from being run over in the New York subway. Great story, but what does this have to do with national policy?
  • A soldier in Iraq who won the Silver Star (just like John Kerry). Note, in the previous two SOTUs, Bush heralded a solder that was killed in the conflict. Clearly, that's taboo nowadays.


The family of Corporal Jason Dunham, USMC, will probably be in attendance.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/23/2007 5:47 AM  

This blog votes no in both instances.

Uhm, he's George Bush and he will 'stay the course' in the SOTU address. To deviate would be to admit weakness or failure, something Bush cannot bring himself to do.

By Anonymous e. nonee moose, at 1/23/2007 9:58 AM  

The baby einstein lady?! I laughed my ass off.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/23/2007 9:13 PM  

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