The president still has the downward inflection that gives his speeches a certain monotony. But there were times that he revealed a passion, usually at the beginning of sentences. But better than not there at all.
The message seemed to garner more bipartisan approval. Was that a function of the mixed seating that makes it harder to see the divide? I can't tell.
Overall, he tried to be conciliatory. Which will not likely please progressives.
There were not many calls for sacrifice. It would have been smarter to frame the "tax cuts for the rich" as a call to sacrifice. Instead of "we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break," he would have been better served to ask them for sacrifice.
It was a nice nod to John Boehner. And a nice finish to Brandon's drilling company. "But we do big things," delivered with passion.
I didn't hear any memorable lines. It was, as is his custom, to be cautious. He didn't seem to move the needle.
If we do big things, we need big leaders. I'm not sure we saw one tonight. That said, he may have positioned himself as the center.
The question is whether we can dig ourselves out of the hole we're in by being cautious.