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Tuesday January 29, 2008 3:53 pm

President Bush Delivers Last ‘State’




Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Prime Time, Specials, ABC, Cable, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, Editorial,

George BushMonday night saw the very last (scheduled) address delivered by our Commander-in-Chief, President (Dubya). He preempted a great deal of network and coverage for this speech to members of Congress and the nation. (A full transcript of the speech can be found at the official White House site.)

The real meat of Bush’s speech centered on the last seven years and bills he wants Congress to pass in the coming weeks. After a ton of hemming and hawing on a number of topics - he did mention voting in the next election at the top of the hour and alluded to the possible recession and economic decline in which the country currently finds itself - he got around to the issue everyone wants to know more about: our troops.

Calling the War on Terror “the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century,” Dubya announced he will require 3,200 more Marines in Afghanistan. He also talked on his Return on Success policy which will help bring 20,000 troops back to U.S. shores in “the coming months.”

He lauded his own success with No Child Left Behind and promised new budget cuts would create a surplus in the nation’s finances. Speaker of the House gamely managed to keep a straight face as Dubya applauded his own efforts with the nation’s education. Bush called for new Pell Grants for Kids totaling $300 million, and at least mentioned the possibility of renewable energy during his time on the floor. But he also asked that Congress continue to fund the troops, praising those who are currently serving on the front lines (to stirring applause from both sides of the aisle).

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White House

Largely, the President talked war.  (Try not to be shocked.) With a glint in his eye he stared the camera down, “My fellow Americans….we will not rest until this enemy has been defeated.” Terrorism in general, Al Qaeda in particular. He ended on a high note, introducing carryover benefits for spouses and children of service members and invoking God just before he made his way back out of the room.

News anchors then proceeded to break down the subtleties of Bush’s speech for another hour or so, and that was it. The bittersweet speech seemed anticlimactic after the reign of the President I’ll always call Dubya (and a great many other things I can’t print), a reign involving a lot of terror that arrived in a number of different ways. Perhaps it was the frequent glimpses of the camera offered, maybe it was the sense of finality to the whole thing…it might even have been ’s smirk - I just felt as if something was lacking. A politician to the end, Dubya will continue touting his ideals and actions, steadfastly refusing to admit error or defeat.

He made a prediction that history would call his War on Terror an “ideological struggle.” But what will history call George W. Bush?

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