"Watch what we do, not what we say." That was the advice -- or warning -- John Mitchell gave at the start of the Nixon administration. It was perfect for judging Nixon, and it's even better for Obama.
No modern president has used speeches as the main tool of the Oval Office nearly as much as this one. That's what got him the job.
But with the novelty wearing thin and reality biting the country, the public is tuning out. It's tired of the TelePrompTer and of speeches that either mislead or lead to nothing.
Often, you get the feeling Obama confuses words with deeds. That was certainly the case with the high-value detainee-interrogation unit he approved last August.
It was part of a plan to take power away from the CIA and show again how Obama is not George W. Bush.
The unit was designed for terrorists like the Nigerian who tried to blow up the airliner on Christmas Day. Top security officials agree it should have been called in to pump him for vital intelligence.
One problem: The unit doesn't exist. Except on paper.
So excuse my yawn as the White House tries to stoke fever about tonight's State of the Union address. Whatever Obama says, wake me when he actually does it.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.