President Obama's second State of the Union last night showed that our elected representatives can act like adults and listen. Sitting together made a huge difference in the tone of what was heard in Statuary Hall after the President spoke.
Although, many people scored political points, there was not the partisan venom that I have heard in previous years.
Many of the press watching the speech also noticed that instead of clapping and jumping up and down, the assembled members of Congress actually listened. That was a welcome change and a breath of fresh air in a town that needs it.
So, the State of the Union speech moved beyond the partisan aisle.-- Now, if we could only change the way a speech is given!
The speech needs to be shorter. A good speech can be given in twenty or thirty minutes. It should be relevant to the ways most Americans consume information. Long speeches were a tradition before
Now, with people clicking on the Web for information 24/7, it is time for the State of the Union becomes a place where Americans watching from home or office can consume the information in a manner that makes sense for them. Here are some suggestions to bring the State of the Union address into the 21st Century:
1. What if the president had prepared a clear PowerPoint presentation on the taxpayer dollars given to the oil companies by taxpayers and had shown citizens how he would use that additional revenue to invest in "tomorrow's energy."
2. What if the president had put up the math and science scores of our children as they compare to the rest of the world and then showed how he was going to try and change those scores?
3. What if the president had presented the miles of high speed rail that the Chinese are investing in and how that will impact on their economy?
4. What if the president had but in black and white where he was going to freeze domestic spending and where he wasn't?
5. And, how about this -- What if he showed how much renting unused Federal Office space was bringing into our federal coffers?
Then, there would have been real civility, because all Americans could engage in a discussion based on numbers and results, not just in political words. Now, that would be real change we could discuss if not really believe in.
Ellen Ratner is Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service and a Fox News contributor.