I read, but did not watch, the President's speech from Tuesday night. For those of you who watched it, I'd be interested in how he did.
Pouring over his words, the President did a couple of things very well. They are the same things he's done very well since becoming President. His summary and analysis of Iraq was excellent. An analogy I love is this: suppose you're walking down the street and someone walks up to you and punches you in the head. You begin to fight back. Suddenly, two of his friends walk up and start helping him out. Now, you're in a fight you hadn't anticpated, but you'd better do everything you can to win or your situation will get much, much worse. The President even said something very close to this: that this isn't the fight we entered, but it's the fight we're in.
On other National Security matters, he was equally strong. We can debate the merits of the federal government imposing standards to reduce gasoline consumption, for the issue is not cut-and-dry, and as the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat; yet, as this will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, this protects the National Security interests of America.
He blew it, however, on important domestic matters. His comments on entitlement programs like health care and Social Security were borderline endorsements ("commitments of conscience"?). And of course, predictably, he fell down on immigration. Of course, the President is still a politician, even if he's not running for office, and he may have been saying all the right things considering the changes he's faced with (such as "Madam Speaker").
Nevertheless, one can't help but reflect on how a system of government, properly balanced, would address the issues before us. We've experienced the whole spectrum of balance - from the Articles of Confederation, to the ratification of our Constitution, to where we've come to since then. Here's to hoping that we can return to a proper balance in our lifetime.