The Brief: January 28, 2010

For our Texas retrospective of the State of the Union, let’s start from the top of the political food chain and work our way down.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

For the Texas retrospective of the State of the Union, let’s start from the top of the political food chain and work our way down.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, in a Perry-like nose-thumb at the establishment, did not join John Cornyn at the address. She played hooky to  “meet with constituents in the Dallas area.”

Cornyn, who was part of the “escort committee” that walked with President Barack Obama into the chamber along with House Texans Pete Sessions and John Carter, didn’t find much to applaud in the speech.

While it was “clearly well delivered” and the president “certainly he has a gift,” Cornyn said, “we've all heard these promises before, and he simply hasn't delivered.”

The two other Texans in the escort committee followed the Cornyn formula in responding to the speech: praise the style, attack the substance.

“The American people need responsible action — not rhetorical flourishes,” according to Sessions.

"He's a good speaker. He's artful at it,” Carter told The Texas Tribune, but added, "I would really, truly want to see him be serious about letting Republicans be involved in these health care decisions.”

Ralph Hall strayed from the script and said he liked what the president said “about jobs and about helping small businesses.”

Joe Barton took a lonely stand on stage left as the only Republican to join the ovation when Obama discussed a college tuition break.

Henry Cuellar, Ciro Rodriguez, Al Green, Sheila Jackson Lee (who shared a big hug with U.S. Sen. Al Franken) and Louie Gohmert snagged seats as “aisle birds.”

Texas Dems had mostly good things to say about the address. Gene Green praised Obama “for making job creation a centerpiece of his speech tonight,” while Eddie Bernice Johnson and Charlie Gonzalez offered varying expressions of support for the president’s economic plans.

And finally, the view from the folks watching it on their living room TVs:

In Fort Worth, a family of “self-described moderate Democrats” struggling through the recession felt comforted by Obama’s “tough love” approach and “thrilled that he spent so much time talking about jobs and keeping jobs onshore.”

In Arlington, a couple who watched the address with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, said of Obama: “He’s real. He’ll admit failure. That’s the mark of a leader."

 CULLED:

Hackers hijacked the websites of 20 U.S. House members and replaced content with attacks on Obama. A sample message: “F—- OBAMA!! Red Eye CREW !!!!! O RESTO E HACKER !!! by HADES; m4V3RiCk; T4ph0d4 — FROM BRASIL.” Charlie Gonzales was the only member of the Texas delegation whose site was hacked. — Politico

• Houston’s preparing to expand its recycling program, which city officials hope will improve its recycling rates, which are among the worst in the nation. — The Houston Chronicle

• Texas Tech’s attorneys released documents that U.S. Senate hopeful Craig James threatened to sue the university if it did not investigate the actions of football coach Mike Leach. — The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

"I think he adopted a dog from him" — Chris Bell, to the Dallas Morning News, on how consultant Jason Stanford knows Kinky Friedman.

 MUST READ:

GOP education board candidates all say they're conservative   — Austin-American Statesman

Dallas County constable's lieutenant, wife arrested on multiple feloniesDallas Morning News

In Texas, big donations get big resultsAustin-American Statesman

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