State of the Union, Origins of the Surge

I missed President Bush’s State of the Union speech tonight; we tuned in just in time to see Chuck Schumer standing and applauding. By then the speech was about over, but even the last five minutes were a useful reminder of the President’s power, even in the last year of his administration.
We didn’t live blog the speech tonight, but a number of our readers did, here. Their running commentary (including some by a handful of liberals) gives a pretty good sense of the evening.
I feel a bit guilty, by the way, because a number of referrals tonight came from Google searches on “live blog the state of the union.” I trust that those Googlers figured out they had linked to another year’s speech.
If you’re looking for an alternative to SOTU commentary, check out Fred Barnes’ cover story in this week’s Weekly Standard: “How Bush Decided on the Surge.” It’s a riveting account of what was probably the most important decision of Bush’s eight years. Here is the conclusion:

The 20-minute speech on January 10, 2007, was not Bush’s most eloquent. And it wasn’t greeted with applause. Democrats condemned the surge and Republicans were mostly silent. Polls showing strong public opposition to the war in Iraq were unaffected.
But the president, as best I could tell, wasn’t looking for affirmation. He was focused solely on victory in Iraq. The surge may achieve that. And if it does, Bush’s decision to spurn public opinion and the pressure of politics and intensify the war in Iraq will surely be regarded as the greatest of his presidency.

It’s fascinating stuff; check it out.

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