Virginia governor Tim Kaine’s Democratic response to the SOTU was not, as far as I can gather from reading around, very well-received. And it’s not hard to see why. Even aside from his wandering eyebrow and the bizarre Colonial Grandma stylings of the background, he focused on the deadly boring themes of "good management" and "results." Zzzzzz …
This was his devastating critique of Bush’s conduct of the "war on terrorism":
Our commitment to winning the war on terrorism compels us to ask this question: Are the President’s policies the best way to win this war?
Woah, that’s gonna leave a mark!
As for the energy stuff … sigh. It seems that the Dems can hardly wait to hand this issue to the Republicans:
When it comes to energy, Americans are using more than ever, paying more for it, and are more dependent on the Middle East than ever before.
There’s a better way. Last summer, I joined Democrats in Washington and in other states and called on oil companies to share in our sacrifice and return some of their record-breaking excess profits.
Democrats at both the state and national levels are leading the way on energy reforms, calling for greater public investments for alternative, advanced energy technologies. These investments will promote energy independence, boost the nation’s economy, create jobs, and strengthen national security.
That’s it? That’s how they set themselves apart from Bush? By bashing oil-company profits? Aside from the highly dubious policy merits of a "windfall tax," does anybody really think this is anything resembling a serious plan to address the coming energy crisis?
Environment? Global warming? Where Dems have a solid advantage over Republicans, on an issue where the public backs them? No mention.
A blown opportunity.
(Strangely, John Kerry’s response, delivered to Katie Couric, was way better — better than he ever was in the campaign. In particular, he drills Bush on energy. What is it with Dems who only find their balls after they lose presidential races? And by the way, is Katie Couric working for the Bush administration? Is there any other way to explain her questions and her tone?)