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January 25, 2012

State of the Union ‘12: Our Top 5 Pics of the Night

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1. Always too ready to pull on the hair shirt and dole out the shame, Obama was surprising smiley and positive last night. The strategy worked well, the GOP’s stony-faced players coming off like cold-shouldered nay sayers. Besides Cantor and Mitch McConnell (who might have been embalmed for all I could tell), the Daniels GOP televised response proved the greatest contrast. Obama, the optimist, versus Mitch, the undertaker.

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2. Cantor and McCarthy caught in the act. If both sides were on reasonably good behavior, shots like this are meant to remind that division in DC is more hopeless than ever.

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3. Best defense is a good offense? What jumped out at me was Obama’s extended military allusions, including cutaways to Panetta and the Generals, at both the open and close of the speech. Someday, people will look back at the Obama Administration and marvel at just how thoroughly Barack and Michelle used the military to insulate themselves.

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4. After sitting through 18 GOP debates, this speech was finely crafted for rebuttal. “The signal” on this photo? Buffet secretary alongside Jobs’ wife = pay your fair share + I’m not anti-business!

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5. The presence of Giffords offered a rare indication that the Congressional body (at least for an evening) had a heart.

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Honorable mention:

I couldn’t figure out Bachmann’s ensemble. It either had something to do with “Snow White,” or some kind of abstinence telegraph.

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photo 1, 5 & 7: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images photo 2: AP Photo/APTN photo 3: Win McNamee/Getty Images photo 4: Larry Downing/Reuters photo 6: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

  • bks

    Where’s Bachmann’s flag lapel-pin?   And McCarthy’s?  Traitors!

        –bks

  • bks

    Where’s Bachmann’s flag lapel-pin?   And McCarthy’s?  Traitors!

        –bks

  • BooksAlive

    Rep. Bachmann wore white at the 2008 SOTU when she grabbed Bush and gave him a smooch.

    http://minnesotaindependent.com/13436/bachmann-the-maverick-runs-away-from-bush-would-give-obama-a-kiss-instead

    The stony faces drew big jeers from the group I was with.

  • gulati

    I like how Boehner frequently looked out to the chamber to help decide when to clap.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thomasgokey Thomas Gokey

    Bachmann the purist, in every sense of the word.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=570058329 Catherine McCallum

    Huh. Hair shirt? Doling out blame? Insulating via the military?

    I looked up pictures of last year’s State of the Union, and found – surprise! – a smiley and optimistic president entering the chamber.

    As to the military – yeah, cheering on military successes. Now there’s something you don’t hear every year in January.

    Really, why the cheap shots at the president?

  • Glenn

    That dour and solemn homunculus Mitch Daniels, former budget director for George W. Bush, was handed a $236 billion surplus in 2001 and managed to turn it into a $400 billion deficit by the time he left in 2003. Why should anyone listen to him about the economy?

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