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.
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.
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.
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!
5. The presence of Giffords offered a rare indication that the Congressional body (at least for an evening) had a heart.
I couldn’t figure out Bachmann’s ensemble. It either had something to do with “Snow White,” or some kind of abstinence telegraph.
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