The president has made a State of the Union address last night.
The thing that is strange about the State of the Union is that the president doesn’t actually have to say anything. It’s all just tradition rather than law. The law says that the president shall from time to time tell congress what’s going on. It doesn’t say how often or when. But tradition states that it will happen once a year. And because it’s basically a copy of the Queen’s Speech it has the same kinds of trappings, for example the President has to be invited to attend and cannot demand an audience. Although I don’t think he’s wearing ermine undies.
There are some strange traditions associated with the evening though. Because of the fact that they have so many of the political elite in the room they have their own political version of the designated driver, they have the designated survivor in case of a disaster. The weird thing is that because the oldest serving member of the Senate (Robert Byrd) doesn’t attend anymore because he is sold old the whole thing is somewhat irrelevant. He can’t be bothered to turn up to the speech because it’s too much effort at his age, but this means because of the political system in America that if a catastrophe occurs he will become the president. A pretty odd state of affairs – even though he’d probably resign immediately.
Anyway all of this talk of designated survivors makes me think of the State of the Union drinking game, hope you all played.
Here’s from me looking forward to
Barack Obama‘s first State of the Union, now that will be a sight to see.