It is a grand occassion when the Sergeant at Arms enters the House chamber and introduces the President of the United States. Handshakes, applause and a few autographs later President Obama reaches the lectern and delivers a fifth State of the Union address.
He appears completely comfortable. He is well prepared. He knows the applause lines where his party stands and he knows the applause lines when both parties stand.
The tougher jobs of the evening belong to Vice-President Joe Biden and Speaker John Boehner. Even with the volume turned down our eyes all waiver to their level of attention. Their smiles. Their applause.
Then there is Marco Rubio. He is on the short list of potential republican candidates for president in 2016. Tonight he appeared nervous. I was relieved he took the awkward drink of water because you could hear the case of dry mouth. It is not easy to make the leap to the national stage.
Back to the president. He is withdrawing troops. He is offering free pre-school to all children. He is strengthening cyberdefense. He is shepherding gun control through congress. The grocery list is long and expensive. The nation will not be able to afford it all.
Voters, journalists and other politicans will have to work to remind the president about promises made to see in one year whether they translate into promises kept.
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