State Of The Union 2013: A Retro-Live Blog

Well, sorry about the random week-and-a-half-long hiatus from the blog, but I just got randomly really busy for about 10 days. Never fear – Things will be Reviewed at this here blog once more. But today, we take a look at last night’s State of the Union, with a necessary disclaimer – this is meant to be a purely lighthearted, fun look at what I am fully aware is a serious and informative address. Got it?  Good.



0:00 – We begin with John Boehner’s banging-gavel face, which, on a scale of 1 to “someone just ran over my kittens with a lawnmower”, is at a 9.5. This will inevitably get worse.

0:25 – Boehner introduces President Obama. Everyone stands in cheers in unison – or, everyone we can see in the shot. In other words, Ted Nugent is probably not in the shot.

“Obama’s got us in a stranglehold, bay-bay!”

1:20 – Wait? Why is Joe Biden wearing glasses? Since when does he wear glasses?

2:01 – Biden is now biting his glasses.

2:25 – Boehner’s face is now in “not even going to pretend I’m enjoying my third-grade kid’s concert” mode.

3:05 – “We can say with renewed confidence that the State of our Union is stronger.” Sound bite alert! This will lead your local news tomorrow.

3:20 – “We gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded.” Camera cuts immediately to Paul Ryan.

5:20 – “(The American people) do expect us to put the nation’s interest before party.” Biden stands and claps. Boehner remains seated. Bipartisanship – it’s what’s for half of breakfast! (The other half is Count Chocula.)

5:40 – I want to focus on President Obama, but I’m mystified by whatever it is that Joe Biden’s reading behind him. Twilight fan fiction? Ke$ha lyrics? A Metroid Prime strategy guide? (Full disclaimer: I owned one of those.)

7:00 – Unofficially, Biden appears to be out-blinking Boehner by about a four to one ratio.

7:30 – “Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits. That idea is even worse.” Huge applause from the Democratic side of the floor. Biden casually bites his glasses and starts clapping it up. Boehner stares at the table and reaches for his pen. He looks like he’s watching the middle part of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.



9:25 – Our first awkward “I’m pausing because I think you’re going to clap but you’re really not clapping, seriously, help me out here, I’m the President of the United States and you’re clapping at everything else I say” moment from President Obama.

11:15 – Joe Biden apparently has some sort of corneal issue, which is probably why his left eye doesn’t seem to exist at the moment.

11:46 – “We can get this done.” Our first ad-lib!

12:00 – President Obama gets all folksy by losing the “g” in “hard-workin'”. Somewhere, Bob Dylan is swoonin’.

13:04 – “The greatest nation on Earth…” Somewhere, Kenny Powers rejoices.

13:40 – “Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America.” Boehner stays seated, realizing his energy bill is six days overdue.

14:15 – Close-up of Boehner, now sporting his “someone stole my tuna sandwich, ate it and replaced it with a can of tuna from 2006” face.

14:30 – “That must be the North Star that guides our efforts.” PLEASE GO BACK IN TIME AND SAY “DEATH STAR” INSTEAD.

Sure, why not.

16:02 – “Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.” 

17:35 – Some random thoughts…does President Obama own any red ties? And who ties his ties? Does he have the best tie-tier in the world on his staff?

18:54 – “We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it.” Not Boehner’s apparently.

19:20 – “But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.” Anyone who didn’t stand and clap for this statement, please leave the room.

20:12 – “Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend.  But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15.  Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.  We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence.  Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”

Seriously, read that again. And be really, really happy that those words were in a State of the Union address.

20:31 – President Obama calls out a bipartisan effort from John McCain and Joe Lieberman. Cue a shot of McCain, some woman sitting next to him who’s probably important enough for me to know and Senator Charles Schumer, who are looking like the proud parents that just heard their kid’s name mentioned on television for the first time.

21:40 – “That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape…” You hear me! Because it’s red! And that’s the Republican color!  Blue tape can stay, though.

23:30 – “And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts.  I’ve seen all those ribbon-cuttins’.” You folksy silver-tongued devil, you.

If you don’t understand any of this, go see “Django Unchained” right now.


23:33 – 

23:37 – “I propose a Fix-It-First program…” Sounds like somebody’s seen Wreck-It-Ralph recently.

25:10 – Ah, yes…the Joe Biden nod. That silent “damn straight, Mr. President” seal of approval.

26:00 – OK, President Obama really doesn’t like his gerunds.

27:30 – “Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America.” Yeah, you better clap! Give me that applause!

29:00 – Boehner has just downloaded the Led Zepagain version of “Misty Mountain Hop” instead of the Led Zeppelin one. On Napster.

29:15 – President Obama shouts out a school in Brooklyn. Cut to Charles Schumer, smiling wider than the shark on the Finding Nemo poster.

Even better in Spanish.

31:00 – “Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do.” QUICK, FIND THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE! CUT TO THEM! TAKE CAMERA 17! CAMERA 17, YOU ARE HOT!

31:50 – I’m still mixed on what the actual state of this union is, but the State of Joe Biden’s Blinking is at DEFCON Freaking Five.

32:14 – Everyone claps for immigration reform! This, somehow, signifies that it’s time to show Al Franken on camera.

33:13 – I am mildly concerned about how far out of its suit Charles Schumer’s tie is.

34:28 – “Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago.” Wait. Something called the “Violence Against Women Act” took 20 YEARS TO PASS?! There has to be more of a backstory to this that I am not currently looking up.

35:00 – “And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.” I don’t know who the woman is that’s sitting down, angrily shaking her head at this sentence, but that is the best camera shot of the night.

36:00 – President Obama proposes changing the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. Pure mayhem in the building. Joe Biden buttoning up his suit. One random guy fist-pumping. Boehner pondering the lyrics of The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”.

36:01 – …OK, it is kinda funny that we’re talking about what “we should be able” to do in “the wealthiest nation on Earth” when we were talking about the trillion-dollar deficit earlier. Right? Is that funny?


In a similar fashion.

36:04 – Boehner reaches across the aisle and punches Biden in the glasses. No, I’m just kidding, I imagined that.

36:45 – “So here’s an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year.” Cut to Paul Ryan, not clapping.

37:40 – I think more incentives have been offered in this speech than in A-Rod’s most recent contract.

38:30 – “What makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.” Actually, I think it’s the X and Y chromosomes, but who’s counting?

39:20 – It took until “defeating the core of Al Qaeda”, but John Boehner stands!

39:50 – Joe Biden starts clapping, realizes nobody else is clapping yet and then stops clapping. My favorite moment of the night. I really hope somebody has made a GIF of this.

42:15 – “I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we’re doing things the right way.” *brushes shoulder off*

45:00 – Something something cyber defenses…I don’t know, I’m reading about the Rangers game at this point.

47:45 – Something about Aung San Suu Kyi, which inspires me to play this song written about her…

(More about those guys tomorrow…)

50:20 – I wish Dikembe Mutombo was here again.

50:53 – Boehner has just had his attempt to drink from his glass of water blocked by Dikembe Mutombo.

51:20 – I assume we’re going to get some shoutouts to individual people soon, much like President Bush did with Mutombo. Seriously, this happened. Look it up. Dikembe Freaking Mutombo got a whole minute dedicated to him in the State of the Union. 

56:30 – Lots of gun control talk here as President Obama talks about how we deserve to at least have a vote on many policies. All I’ll say is this, without getting political about it – I hope people don’t criticize the President for politicizing Newtown and other recent tragedies. Isn’t some form of politicizing what’s happened the only way to get something done? Anyway, this is very heavy and serious stuff, so let’s move on considering the tone of this piece.

58:37 – “We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor.  When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours.  And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say.  Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her.  Because Desiline is 102 years old.  And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read “I Voted.””

Man, I hope she voted for Gary Johnson.

1:00:50 – President Obama finishes the speech and immediately turns around to shake John Boehner’s hand. Boy, he’s going to have fun when he watches back the tape tomorrow.

Looks like someone’s got a case of the Mondays!


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