7:17p.m.: Obama: "for everyone who speaks so passionately about making life easier for 'job creators,' this plan is for you." The camera pans to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, looking grim but moisturized. Obama promises that his jobs bill will give a small business with 50 employees an $80,000 tax cut.
7:09p.m.: Obama: Regular people don't care about politics -- unlike reporters, who keep asking what this speech will mean for me. Interesting opener.
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza says Obama is going meta. Is he the first president to go meta before a joint session of Congress? An appeal to the youth vote, perhaps.
7:06p.m.: The president enters! Obama is wearing a slate blue tie with a hint -- a hint -- of purple. Just like Biden, a sign of bipartisanship. Maybe.
7:05p.m.: Michelle Obama is wearing a fuchsia silky sleeveless dress tonight Though the First Lady has become a fashion icon for some, Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld is unimpressed. "I love Madame Obama, but not in terms of clothes. I like her face, the cleverness of her face. Her face is stronger than the clothes."
6:58p.m.: Ric Andersen tweets that this will be the first event like this since the House page program was killed. Will cameras pan over empty seats once filled by kids?
6:55p.m.: National Journal's Marc Ambinder: "At 7:00 pm I will Tweet about two things NOT in the speech tonight that might surprise some folks." Tease!
6:52p.m.: Obama will explain that "Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers." And The Wall Street Journal's Danny Yadron says Obama's effort to woo business leaders is clear from the list of people who'll be sitting with Michelle Obama during the speech. Among the guests will be GE head Jeffrey Immelt, AOL cofounder Steve Case, and American Express chair Kenneth Chenault.
Reporters are filing in
. Politicians are filing in. Vice President Joe Biden is wearing a purple tie -- that's red plus blue, for bipartisanship.
6:40p.m.: This speech has build a narrative, The New Yorker's John Cassidy writes. "Confronted with the deepest economic slump since the nineteen-thirties, any President would have struggled. Still, to put it gently, Obama's public utterances haven't always helped him. One of the most disappointing aspects of his tenure has been the failure to present the measures he has taken, sometimes reluctantly, such as supporting his Republican predecessor's bank bailout, as part of a coherent narrative confronting the anti-government rhetoric of the Tea Party/G.O.P."
6:33p.m.: Balloon Juice's John Cole is going the opposite direction as West in setting his own expectations. "I am over hope and change. I want hope and a motherfucking chainsaw."
6:30p.m.: The Washington Post's Felicia Somnez reports she's already gotten two video preemptive responses to Obama's speech, from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Georgia Rep. Austin Scott.
Tea Partying Rep. Allen West grumbled he expects the "same ol same ol" from Obama's speech tonight, the Weekly Standard
's Michael Warren
reports. Maybe it's sort of like expecting to totally hate a movie, like Friends with Benefits
. Going in with those super low expectations, West could be pleasantly surprised!
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.