(CNN) - Gov. Bob McDonnell reads standard GOP talking points very well.
"We hate government, blah, blah, blah." Let's see him turn down the federal money that's keeping Virginia afloat. After he finishes attacking the government, McDonnell will go into a government limousine, with a government driver and ride to a government-provided mansion.
If he hates government so much why has he spent his life in it? Still, he's done a good job on a thankless task. No one should follow Barack Obama.
(CNN) - The speech was smart. The president spoke to independent voters about the awful culture of Washington.
He scolded Democrats for not behaving as a majority and Republicans for policy choices. He spoke about the context in which he came to office – and "the crisis" he inherited. He even took on the Supreme Court decision on campaign finance reform. The one missing piece: what he intends to do on healthcare.
(CNN) - A strong and stirring close – a call to overcome cynicism and defeatism.
(CNN) - There it is. A call to end "don't ask, don't tell," framed in the promise enshrined in the Constitution, a new milestone of civil rights. It's not the end of this debate - not by a long shot - but our country has evolved a lot on this issue since Bill Clinton first raised it in 1993.
(CNN) - For those who see President Obama as too remote, too "cerebral" - the final minutes were his most affecting from an emotional standpoint.
On the spirit of America, "it lives on in all the Americans who've dropped everything to go some place they've never been and pull people they've never known from rubble, prompting chants of 'USA! USA! USA!' when another life was saved."
(CNN) - Introducing the section of his speech on national security, President Obama started by mentioning the way the unity we felt after 9/11 has dissipated and he criticized the partisan politics that is increasingly played on this front.
"I know that all of us love this country," Obama said.
Sad that it needed to be said, but it did.
(CNN) - President Obama took time tonight to talk bipartisanship – a pitch to independents (who decide elections and who hate, hate, hate partisan bickering). "I will not give up. I'm trying to change the tone of our politics." He scolds both the GOP and his own party. "We were sent here to serve our citizens not our ambitions."
(CNN) - President Obama said, "What frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day." These words are aimed directly at independents.
(CNN) - The bad news is that this long speech had too many words. The good news is that many of them were "I." A long list of stuff will not change the narrative for this president tonight. I would have advised him to give a shorter speech about bigger things, instead of a longer one about smaller things.
And I wish he'd given a speech that implied some change of direction, something to prove he'd gotten the message the American people have been sending him. I didn't hear that tonight.