State of the Union Address 2007: instant analysis

As over the last few years, line-by-line speechwriter style analysis available on the Atlantic's web site tomorrow morning, U.S. time. Main point right now:

This was two different speeches, perhaps three. The first speech, on domestic policy, was list-like, uninspired, and uninspiring -- apparently even to the President himself, who trudged through it as if seeing the text for the first time. The second speech, about terrorism, Iraq, and foreign policy, reawakened Bush's own interest and advanced his case about as well as a speech at this point could.

The third speech, the brief, closing "Lenny Skutnik" portion, was the best part of the speech and the most skillful execution of this ritual that has been seen in years.

And, oh, yes, the President couldn't help himself. His text took the bold step of not ending with "God Bless America." But this apparently was so startling that President Bush had to say, "God bless....." to know that he was done.