Joe Klein hates the day of the State of the Union speech. Like really, really hates it. He writes:
I especially hate the day before the State of the Union message because....every last interest group in Christendom, including the Jewish and Islamic ones, sends out e-missions about what the President really should say about everything from junk food to oil subsidies. And the New York Times inevitably collects a dozen of the usual suspects to make modest suggestions about themes the President should strike, which inevitably are their own entirely predictable hobby horses. And people like me talk about what the President has to do in his speech in order to thrive politically; we are almost invariably wrong, so I've pretty much stopped doing it. Here are some other things that are inevitable:
1. The President will say that the state of the union is strong, even though it isn't quite.
2. The post-speech pundits will say the speech was a laundry list that went on too long; the public will react favorably, nonetheless, in the snap polls.
3. The Republican response will be underwhelming (as the Democratic response is, when there's a Republican President)...
4. The speech won't be as important as everyone claims it will be.
It's like Election Day but with none of the suspense about the evening's outcome.