State of the Union

It’s time for a Washington, D.C. ritual that doesn’t seem to be enjoyed by many people at all, but just about every year we go through it again, as President Obama will address a Joint Session of Congress to give his report on the State of the Union.

While this will be Mr. Obama’s third speech to Congress, it will be his first State of the Union.

Last year he gave a speech that was like a State of the Union, but it wasn’t.  In September, he gave a health care speech that was like a State of the Union, but it wasn’t.

So, finally we get the real deal tonight, and we’ll see how much news gets made.

Yes, it is very cool to be there for a State of the Union.  But the predictable partisan prattle that emerges afterwards from both sides is pathetic at best.

“He hit a home run!” will likely be said by a member of the President’s party.

(Cue the sound of the teacher in Peanuts.)

If you have a sharp eye on C-SPAN afterwards, maybe you will catch a glimpse of me, jammed into the old House Chamber known now as Statuary Hall along with dozens and dozens of other reporters, all desperately trying to find a few of the 435 House Members and 100 Senators who might venture in to find a TV camera.

“Will you be in the mosh pit after the speech?” I asked one Senator yesterday.

He looked at me like I was crazy, and shook his head in the negative.

The really hilarious part about these speeches is that when the President gets a few pages away from being finished, lawmakers begin leaving so they can get a head start on everyone else in Statuary Hall.

The quicker you get there, the less you have to wait, and the faster you get home.

Sounds good to me.