Update 10:14 eastern
WASHINGTON–Now I have to stop this and start writing a column…..Here are some post speech scenes I observed from the House gallery balcony overlooking the chamber. Sen. Dick Durbin and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are at the podium, locked in conversation….She takes a card out of her pocket and a blue pen and starts taking notes on what Durbin is saying…..
….Ok, I feel bad for Sen. Roland Burris. President Obama finished his speech. He worked the GOP side of the aisle. He turned towards the Democrats. Burris is standing alone. He waves at Obama from a short distance away. No response from what I see……No one from the Illinois delegation comes up to Burris. Finally one or two House members, both men who I do not recognize come up to Burris.
The speech is over and Obama is looking up at the balcony, where the press is….he quickly averts his gaze….and then his eyes lock for a moment on the First Lady…..
9:54 EASTERN…These times are a “tremendous burden” but a “great privilege” to shape the world.
For those who are laid off, have homes loosing values, 401k’s in the dumps …..I say…..such an honor!
9:54 eastern…Scene in the House press gallery…(not inside the chamber) the journalists who will be doing interviews in Statuary Hall are now scrambling to leave to get there–with escorts–before security clamps down.
9:44 eastern….I’m in the chamber and Obama is talking about how health care reform cannot wait, “it must not wait.” I look over to Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the front row with the other cabinet members to see if she reacts. As First Lady in 1994, she got nailed when she tried to steer health reform through Congress. She sits impassively. (I stepped out of the chamber to write this)
9:34 eastern…Here’s the gameplan..energy, health cafe and education.
Downbeat….China, Germany and Japan are beating us with our own technology….
Upbeat….”It’s time for America to lead again.”
9:32 eastern….Obama says he will sacrifice some “worthy priorities” and they are…..
9:29 eastern ….A whole lot of Wall Street and bank bashing.
Obama has an interesting rhythm in this speech…some doom and gloom and then a shiny point of light….”slowly, but surely, confidence will return, and our economy will recover.”
“Nobody messes with Joe,” Obama says. Pitches accountability in his stimulus plan and website.
President Obama starts his speech before a joint session of Congress very gloomy.
Wait…here’s the hope….
“We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before”
8:59 p.m. Some pre President Obama speech scenes in the House of Representatives…..
*First Lady Michelle wearing a sleeveless dress. Doesn’t she ever get cold?
*Big cheers from Democratic female lawmakers for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the former House member confirmed Tuesday.
*Embattled Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.), with a red hanky in his pocket chatting with Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) looking all around the House gallery.
*Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) as his tradition, arrived in the chamber hours early in order to claim an upfront aisle seat.