Give CNN points for stating the obvious, if points are deserved for such a prosaic report. But, don't forget that by doing so, it is their gleeful kick in the ribs to George W. Bush and that particular aspect was the goal in the first place for reporting that the race for the White House "overshadowed" Bush's State of the Union speech.
From the headline to the last word of the piece, there is little by way of new or prescient "analysis" relayed in a report half of which delights to say how supposedly irrelevant Bush has become. Proclaiming, "Analysis: Bush overshadowed by presidential race," CNN doesn't give us much by way of thoughtful "analysis:"
Most striking to me about President Bush's final State of the Union address Monday night was how unsurprising it was. ... This is a president who had previously used this same stage of a packed House chamber to dramatically talk about an "axis of evil" to build the case for war in Iraq or to launch massive domestic initiatives like Social Security reform. But this time he offered little that was new or bold.
This is analysis? Bush has less than a year of his term left, what "massive domestic initiatives" could he really expect to "launch"? It isn't very cogent analysis to observe that Bush's days of "massive initiatives" are practically over, here. But, then CNN's Ed Henry acts as though he realizes that his first few lines and his headline are all puffery with his follow up...
In fairness to the president, his hands are fairly well tied as he begins his final year in office. With a Democratic Congress, he's unlikely to get to very much of his agenda enacted. And truth be told, if he had walked up to the rostrum and outlined 10 complicated new initiatives, I'd be writing today about how unrealistic Bush was being.
Okay, so why the denigrating headline and the first few lines that tease Bush for showing how useless he is? Why else but to give Bush a black eye over something even the writer himself realizes is a pointless distinction.
Even one of the links to a CNN video proclaims... "Video Watch how Bush's megaphone is shrinking."
Give me a break.
It all bespeaks of CNN's delight that Bush is coming to the natural end of his elected term.
So this was in part an acknowledgement of the new political reality, especially with that exciting, wide-open campaign to replace Bush getting more attention. (Did you notice how all the TV networks justifiably spent so much time on those delicious cutaway shots in the chamber of Sen. Barack Obama huddling with new best-friend-forever Sen. Edward Kennedy, while Sen. Hillary Clinton sat nearby, no doubt fuming?)
More stating of the patently obvious. Of course people have heightened interest in the election. It is the looming event in all of politics. It is no reflection at all on Bush. It is just natural that the media and the people are more excited about the upcoming race.
The bottom line is that the bully pulpit certainly seems smaller for Bush...
I wonder how writer Henry was able to type whilst rubbing his hands in excitement over Bush's demise?
The rest of Henry's "analysis" centered on the actual content of Bush's speech (finally), but Henry's happiness over Bush's exit was both obvious and not very relevant. It does, however, fit in quite nicely with the anti-Bush sentiment that CNN has wallowed in for the last 7 years.