Shenanigans: Burning Down The House
By Anne Schroeder Mullins
February 25, 2009
President Obama’s historic first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night drew somewhere around 60 rounds of applause.
Unfortunately for the President whose pet project is bipartisanship, it often wasn’t universal applause ringing through the House chamber: the Republicans mostly sat on their hands, figuratively speaking, and left the clapping and cheering to the Democrats.
A lot of the Republicans looked like they really didn’t want to be there, and some, like one Texas lawmaker, even mocked the President during his speech. In fairness, that’s what the opposition party does at times. It broods, pouts and stamps its feet. The Democrats did a lot of that over the previous eight years.
Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) is one Republican who often outclasses his brethren in the House. King went out of his way to say hello to Obama after the speech and shook his hand.
Obama was late to his own speech, by the way, but only by a few minutes.
But the Supremes were right on time. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, looking a bit frail from her bout with cancer, received one of the biggest rounds of applause of the evening when she entered the chamber. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent some time chatting up Ginsburg, appearing to put a smile on the Supreme Court justice’s face. Clinton once again outshined her peers.
Sen. Ted Kennedy, locked in his own battle with cancer, did not attend the speech, but still received a standing ovation when Obama cited him for his endless work on education reform.
Sully the pilot, the hero of the Hudson, got a standing ovation when he was introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who invited him to attend the address.
But it looked like Illinois Sen. Roland Burris got the cold shoulder from Obama after the speech. Burris motioned toward Obama and waved at him, but the President never shook his hand and just moved away from the Senate’s pariah-in-residence.
And finally, what was MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough doing roaming around the House floor before and after the speech? He isn’t a congressman any more and it was way past Morning Joe’s bedtime, given his 6 a.m. show time! Next time just send Mika.