Politically interested bloggers have been posting this video all over the Internet, and I enjoyed it enough I’ve decided to follow suit.
This particular one comes from whitehouse.gov and it unfortunately starts after the gracious welcome from the Republican leadership, which helped set the tone.
There’s a lot to like in this video. I like Obama a lot. I think he’s sensible, direct, and not afraid to throw a couple of (polite) punches.
I like the Republicans a lot. They, again politely, go after him on some big things–which is of course what the opposition party should do. I also like them for agreeing to put this on C-SPAN.
I think Obama comes out looking much better, though. Part of that is, I like what he has to say a lot more, and part of that is, he’s the President of the United States. He gets to control the mic and control the flow, and the Republicans have to raise their hands hoping to get called on (by their own leadership, I think, which is a pretty good way to handle that).
But this kind of thing should happen more often. We should see our leaders in the same room arguing about the issues. The floors of Congress don’t allow for Q&A so much anymore. But we deserve to see the party in opposition directly challenge the President, Republican or Democrat. (It’s interesting to wonder what this would have been like with Bush at the podium and the Democrats in the audience in 2002 or 2003.)
If these kinds of Q&As were regularly televised shortly after the State of the Union address, and maybe once more in the year–June or July maybe–I’d watch them regularly.
Kudos to both parties for putting this together.