Note to all politicians: If you need a shot of adrenalin at one of your events, get subway superhero Wesley Autrey on board. Because when President Bush cited Autrey's amazing rescue of another subway rider who had fallen into the tracks, we feel that Autrey brought down the house. Bush said:
Three weeks ago, Wesley Autrey was waiting at a Harlem subway station with his two little girls, when he saw a man fall into the path of a train. With seconds to act, Wesley jumped onto the tracks, pulled the man into the space between the rails, and held him as the train passed right above their heads. He insists he's not a hero. He says: "We got guys and girls overseas dying for us to have our freedoms. We have got to show each other some love." There is something wonderful about a country that produces a brave and humble man like Wesley Autrey.
Autrey waved the crowds, seemed to mouth "You the man" to the President, and shook the hands of First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney's wife Lynne. (Autrey's youngest daughter seemed to be sleeping.)
And last night's State of the Union address got off to a nice, classy start when President Bush made note that he had the "high privilege and distinct honor to begin a speech with the words, 'Madam Speaker.'" The standing ovation for Nancy Pelosi gave the evening a nice boost, but everything that came after was a bleak reminder of how President Bush has been disappointing on so many fronts. You can read the President's speech here at the White House website, and this NY Times editorial mentions the problems with the President and this NY Sun editorial finds a silver lining in last night's speech.
Did you watch the State of the Union? What did you think?
Top photograph of Wesley Autrey during the State of the Union by Susan Walsh/AP; bottom photograph of Speaker Pelosi and President Bush, possibly discussing an arm wrestling match, by Lawrence Jackson/AP