SOTU: What to look for
Though the SOTU seems to lose importance with each passing year, this year may be different. The obvious reason for that is Iraq. Though Bush will probably lay off any heavy Iraq talk, his tone will be the thing to watch for. Early indications from the leaked portions of the speech are that he's going for the combative approach. If this holds up look for catcalls from the Dems post speech, along with lots of angry disillusionment from moderate GOPers.
They're looking at Bush's SOTU as the perfect platform for W to at least spout off a little rhetoric about eventually leaving Iraq, implementing some of the ISG reports recommendations, and generally acknowledge that he hears the growing Republican discontent with the war and the new surge plan. With it looking more like that won't happen, GOPers will be sure to ramp up the pressure on the Bush administration post-SOTU to come around and bargian with surge opponents.
The reaction of Dem '08 contenders are also sure to be interesting to see. Will Hillary finally really blast the war and semi-apologize for her pro-war vote? If not, will Edwards seize the moment and direct a blistering attack on both Bush and Hillary in order to solidify his position as the most vocal anti-war candidate? No doubt Obama will tread lightly, not wanting to risk bold statement just yet. And check the web for video statements from the whole '08 cast. Sure to be lots of goodies online.