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Obama, Biden and Pelosi at the State of the Union deedsphotos

Updated on February 18, 2013

Photos at the State of the Union

We bought a new flat screen television recently, so I decided to take a few photos of the State of the Union address. Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi appeared to me to be enjoying the occasion more than President Obama, judging by their animated expressions throughout the one hour plus address to the Congress and the nation. Pelosi, in my opinion, is quite beautiful for a woman who will turn 71 next month. My photos didn't do her justice. She looked even better when I met her in Washington fifteen years ago. I wonder if she remembers the occasion as clearly as I do. Somehow, I doubt it. Biden looked quite good also at age 68. However, I recall a wag in a Washington publication likening him with his new plug job to a Chia Pet. He and Pelosi both have quite expressive faces.

[I'm told that LCD televisions work better for photos than ours which is a plasma model. Oh well!]

Rich and Dowd on Obama and the State of the Union

Two of Washington's sharpest observers, Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd, hold forth in the Sunday NYT op-ed page. Rich liked Obama's State of the Union speech but his comments were more critical than heretofore on Obama and even more so on the Democrats and Republicans in Congress. He contrasted Harry Reid very unfavorably compared to Lyndon Johnson, and he quoted historian Alan Brinkley's recent comment on Congress as follows:

"The historian Alan Brinkley has observed that we will soon enter the fourth decade in which Congress — and therefore government as a whole — has failed to deal with any major national problem, from infrastructure to education. The gridlock isn’t only a function of polarized politics and special interests. There’s also been a gaping leadership deficit." and

"What does strong Senate leadership look like? That would be L.B.J. in the pre-Kennedy era. Operating with the narrowest of majorities and under an opposition president, he was able to transform a sleepy, seniority-hobbled, regionally polarized debating society into an often-progressive legislative factory. As Robert Caro tells the story in his book “Master of the Senate,” this Senate leader had determination, “a gift for grand strategy,” and a sixth sense for grabbing opportunities for action before they vanished for good. He could recognize “the key that might suddenly unlock votes that had seemed locked forever away” and turn it quickly. The horse trading with recalcitrant senators was often crude and cynical, but the job got done. L.B.J. knew how to reward — and how to punish."


"Obama should turn up the heat on both the G.O.P’s record of fiscal recklessness and its mad-dog obstructionism. He should stop paying lip service to the fantasy that his Congressional opposition has serious ideas to contribute to the cleanup. Better still, he should publicize exactly what those “ideas” are....

"A year in, we have learned that all the conciliatory rhetoric won’t cut it. But a president with a big megaphone and large legislative majorities has more powerful strings to pull, no matter what happened in one special election in Massachusetts. If he can’t get a working government, at least he can shake things up in November...."

CAMUS FIRED UP--Maureen Dowd

The day after the State of the Union, Obama joined the House Republicans in their annual retreat on the condition that the session be opened up to the press. Obama's performed as if he had read a draft copy of Frank Rich's critique of his State of the Union address.

"And during the next hour and a half, our government did not look quite so lame.

"Obama is always at his best when his back is against the wall, and he is perversely content when he has the challenge of the lion’s den.

"He may lapse back into his Camus coma at any moment. But on Friday he dropped the diffident debutante act and offered, as he did at the State of the Union, some welcome gumption....

"'You know,' he said, halfway through his sparring session with Republicans, 'I’m having fun.'”...

Obama who ended up doing just such a Ping-Pong session, standing in a hotel ballroom and giving as good he got, to-ing and fro-ing in a far more vivid way than in the presidential debates.

"The president chided his audience for casting his health care plan as a “Bolshevik plot” and for telling folks back home that he’s “doing all kinds of crazy stuff that’s going to destroy America.” But Obama also acknowledged that the Republicans have some good ideas, and that, as it turned out, was what they yearned to hear..."

[Frank Rich's and Maureen Dowd's columns are linked below. They are both worth reading.]

A Couple of Better Pictures of Nancy Pelosi


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    • profile image


      9 years ago from Solon Ohio!

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Check your facts--Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism against the U.S. or anyone else. Saddam Hussein, for all his faults, didn't tolerate Islamist crazies. Bush and Cheney lied us into a foolish, unncessary, costly war with Iraq. And they neglected Afghanistan when we had an opportunity to wipe out Al Qaida which was responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

      The terrorist attacks you mentioned were not exactly acts of war because they were instigated by Al Qaida or allied terrorist groups rather than another country. And Bush attacked Iraq which had nothing to do with any of what you call "acts of war."

    • Springboard profile image


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Ralph, I just have to terribly disagree with you. Terrorists put us into two wars. Granted, Iraq has a few issues. And really, if you want to go back a little further, it was Clinton who had more to do with this situation—don't forget Clinton also conducted military operations in Iraq. When the USS Cole was attacked that was an act of war. When the US Embassy in Africa was bombed that was an act of war. When the first WTC bombing occurred by known terrorists that was an act of war. And the planes being flown into the Pentagon and the WTC were also an act of war.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Yes, to both. I don't think Biden was sleeping. But he was squinting and frowning quite a bit. Pelosi was ahead of him in jumping up and applauding. A couple of times she appeared to look over at Biden to make sure he was getting up to applaud the president. Both of them have quite expressive faces.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      She is a good looking woman. The guy on the left looked half asleep most of the time.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Well, Nancy Pelosi managed to get a health care reform bill passed that would be of great benefit to many Americans. You're entitled to your opinion. At least you aren't calling her a communist, socialist or nazi! Thanks for your comment.

      BTW, you are wrong about me being "far disitant from the economy." I live in Michigan where unemployment is close to 20%. And I spend a fair amount of my time assisting and representing unemployment compensation claimants having trouble finding their way through the maze of unemployment insurance agency regulations and procedures.

    • profile image

      Brad Mastrs 

      9 years ago


      Pelosi has not accomplished anything good for the people, especially since the Democrats and her took control of the house.

      In the last six decades Congress has failed the country, more so in the years under Democratic Control. None of the presidents with the exceptions of JFK, and Ronald were any help to the country.

      The oil crisis (scam) and the global warming scam as well as the economic meltdown and the trillions of dollars of giveaway was done while the Congress and the Presidents did nothing.

      Ralph, I am so glad that you can afford a new TV and be able to brag about it. You seem to be as far distant from this economy as President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and your Democratic Congress.

      Way to go, Ralph.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Well, Bush got us into two wars. One completely stupid and the other one questionable. And he put the economy into a deep hole which will take a while to get out of.

    • Springboard profile image


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I keep on saying it's a fine mess were in here, but the dems have got to stop pointing at Bush and the GOP. He's not the president anymore and the republicans have no power currently in the House and Senate. It's up to the democrats to get things done if they want to...

      Not to say I'm glad they're NOT getting anything done. My wallet sure is happy about that.

      But the blame is going in the wrong direction.

    • SweetiePie profile image


      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      You know I have never had a problem with Pelosi and her politics, but that is just me. Did not realize she was 71, and she looks great. What she does to her own body is her business, but there is nothing wrong if she wants to look nice. Obama gave a great speech in my opinion, but all the talk about bipartisanship, never going to happen. I enjoyed your shots though.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Here's a link to Leonard Pitts' column today in the Miami Herald

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I agree 100%. What do you think about this comment by GOP candidate for governor of South Carolina?

      ``He'' is South Carolina Lt. Gov. André Bauer, running for governor on the GOP ticket. Speaking of those who receive public assistance, he recently told an audience, ``My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better.''

      You read that right. The would-be governor of one of the poorest states there is likens the poor to stray animals.

      And though it drew some newspaper notice, a riposte from The Daily Show and rebukes from Bauer's opponents, it never quite rose to the level of national controversy, as it would've had Bauer compared, say, women or Jews to the dogs one feeds at one's back door. The relative silence stands as eloquent testimony to the powerlessness and invisibility of the American poor.

      Leonard Pitts, Jr. in the Detroit Free Press 2-2-10

    • A.J. Frank profile image

      A.J. Frank 

      9 years ago from Rochester

      What's all of this about Pelosi's face? I don't care what she looks like. The question is, can she govern?

      Also, why save our current healthcare system? We pay more per capita than any other country. Look below for our esteemed ranking...

      Costa Rica and Dominica rank higher than us and we beat Cuba by 2 spots. By the way, all of the higher ranked countries have national health care.

      The World Health Organization's ranking

      of the world's health systems.

      1 France

      2 Italy

      3 San Marino

      4 Andorra

      5 Malta

      6 Singapore

      7 Spain

      8 Oman

      9 Austria

      10 Japan

      11 Norway

      12 Portugal

      13 Monaco

      14 Greece

      15 Iceland

      16 Luxembourg

      17 Netherlands

      18 United Kingdom

      19 Ireland

      20 Switzerland

      21 Belgium

      22 Colombia

      23 Sweden

      24 Cyprus

      25 Germany

      26 Saudi Arabia

      27 United Arab Emirates

      28 Israel

      29 Morocco

      30 Canada

      31 Finland

      32 Australia

      33 Chile

      34 Denmark

      35 Dominica

      36 Costa Rica

      37 United States of America

    • jiberish profile image


      9 years ago from florida

      Ralph I felt like I was on an acid trip looking at those photos. Pelosi might have been pretty at some point in her life, but beauty with no brains does not make a good leader, but, Oh wait we are in the Hollywood era. Biden looked like he just got back from having a few beers, and the whole SOTU was like a bad re-run. I'm wondering if you get a tingly feeling up your legs watching Obama?

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Ignorance is rife among "base" Republican:

      A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll, conducted among 2,000 self-identified Republican respondents nationwide, gives an interesting peek into the psyche of the minority party's base.

      Kos has not yet released the full numbers, but here's some early info on the poll that he has posted on his Twitter account:

      • 39% of Republicans want President Obama to be impeached.

      • 63% think Obama is a socialist.

      • Only 42% believe Obama was born in the United States.

      • 21% think ACORN stole the 2008 election -- that is, that Obama didn't actually win it, and isn't legitimately the president, with 55% saying they are "not sure." This number is actually significantly lower than it was in a similar question from Public Policy Polling (D) back in November, which said that 52% of Republicans thought ACORN stole it. So does this mean Obama is gaining ground among Republicans? As it is, only just over 20% of Republicans will say that Obama actually won the election.

      • 53% think Sarah Palin is more qualified than Obama to be president.

      • 23% want to secede from the United States.

      • 73% think gay people should not be allowed to teach in public schools. This position puts the GOP base well to the right of none other than Ronald Reagan, who helped defeat the Briggs Initiative, a 1978 referendum in California that would have forbidden gays or people who advocated gay rights from teaching in public schools.

      • 31% want contraception to be outlawed.

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 

      9 years ago from Virginia

      Fascinating hub.

    • joyceann0129 profile image


      9 years ago from philippines

      great share^^

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I've read that the Canadian health care system is experiencing financial problems, but I have heard nothing about people not getting Social Security checks. That would be a big surprise. Some rich Canadians come to the U.S. rather than wait or elective or non-emergency surgery. Relative to the number who are treated in Canada the number is tiny. Here's a recent article on the subject which supports this--

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      There are always people coming to the US for medical care from Canada and other countries. I have been to the Mayo Clinic twice this last year, and there are a lot of out of country people getting healthcare.

      I have never heard of anyone going to Canada for an operation. They may go there for medicine and drugs, but not operations.

      The last Canadian I talked to said the Social Security system was broke up there, and they were getting 1 out of every 4 checks. And healthcare was following the same way, that many medical procedures were not getting done because the medical system was broke too.

      Unless he totally lied to me, this what he was telling me. I do not see any reason he would lie to me.

      And by the way, LBJ should have been tried by the US for murder of many US military because of his own stupidity and the bad way he ran the Vietnam War. This is terrible what he did.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      The government would be much less likely to deny treatment than is currently done by private for profit insurance companies, not to mention the 30? million people who have no health insurance and can't afford to buy the drugs prescribed by their doctors. I've been eligible for Medicare for some time, and nothing has been denied by Medicare. However, not all drugs are covered by my drug insurance company. The concern you express is not ridiculous because whatever happens to the reform proposals, Medicare needs to slow the increase in costs. They will be attempting to eliminate needless, duplicate and harmful, tests now paid for when ordered by many doctors. Inevitably they will not pay for some things that patients and their doctors may think are necessary and may actually be necessary. (See the article by Dr.Jerome Groopman linked below if you are seriously interested in this issue.) Medicare or any health care would not be able to deny care under any circumstances. They would only be able to refuse to pay, just as insurance companies do not. The patient could still have the care if he was willing and able to pay for it.

      So far as I know the "death panels" are urban legends started by opponents of health care reform--the for profit insurance companies and the for profit health care insurance companies. Nobody in Canada has to wait for surgery that "they desperately need." That is b.s. How many people from Canada have you talked to about health care. I live just across the river from Windsor, Ontario, and I've talked to plenty. And I have yet to meet one who would trade their system for ours. Some of them grumble a bit, but basically thay are well-satisfied. And this is borne out by the superior bottom line results in Canada to those in the U.S. We rank something like 37th in the world, AND our costs are much higher.

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      So Ralph, do you think, if the government ran healthcare, they in some cases would deny operations and more expensive medical care to critical ill and older patients? At least, this option would open up chances of that happening, especially with budgets restraints. Canada healthcare is consider death panels in ways because some die before the can wait the 2 or more years of waiting to get the operation they desperate need. These are "death panels" when you really look at them. People die while from the result of the decisions of these panels. YOU CANNOT DENY THIS!

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Petra, thanks for your comments. I think we are more or less on the same wave length. But I can't resist another comment. What's wrong with beauty and brains? You seem to be quite bright and articulate, and quite attractive assuming your avatar is a photograph of you! Edwards was defeated both by Obama and Clinton, if memory serves, before his extra-marital affair became public knowledge. And Palin's attractive looks weren't enough to overcome her ignorance and McCain's issues despite his appeal as a war hero and moderate reputation to independent voters. (I, too, was an Obama supporter.)

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      Botox or not, I would love nothing better than to see Obama succed (in all his attempts) and to see a good helthcare bill passed (no matter who is capable of writing it and get it accepted).

      I will leave it at that beacause again you are trying to shift my main concern from (America votes for beauty rather than brains) and keep on going back to Pelosi for whom I have no special anthpathy, but do not see as a constructive force

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Petra, I didn't say that anybody should like or vote with Nancy Pelosi because she looks good. Neither should they vote against her for that reason. I don't understand where you are coming from with your antipathy to Nancy Pelosi. She did her job well and produced a good health bill. Only a few Democrats in the House of Representatives didn't support the health care reform bill passed by the House. The problems are with recalcitrant Democratic senators from states where there more cows than people and to an extent leadership issues with Harry Reid who is no Lyndon Johnson and the president's failure to take a more active role in the Senate and defining the issues more effectively to the public. This allowed the insurance and drug companies and the Tea Party to spread misinformation (death panels, etc.) to the public. You are ventilating in the wrong direction.

      You seem to be fixated on Botox. I don't know whether or not Pelosi has had botox treatments or not. Do you? And if she has, so what?

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      The fact that Pelosi alienated some of her own party members does not convince me that her Botox and derma fillers work.

      I expect more from any politician than just to look good and that was my point when commenting, but you did not address that. I respect beauty as long as it does not interfere with brains.

      Do I need to like Sarah Palin just because she looks good?

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Petra, you may be more forgiving of "botox" some day when you are 71. "Grimace?!" Any objective person would accept that Nancy has an engaging smile and by any standard she's a beautiful 71-year-old woman. Probably my pictures don't do her justice. I find it hard to fathom the source of all the hostility toward her. She has very skillfully built a solid consensus in the House of Representatives for health care reform. The supporters of the House reform bill are all representatives elected by voters across the country. If a majority of voters no longer support health care reform it's because they have been deluded by propaganda from the GOP and the health insurance and drug industries. Pelosi has done her job very well, in my opinion. She is tough but not arrogant.

      In response to HP's suggestion I've added a bit of text and links to Frank Rich's and Maureen Dowd's NYT columns on the State of the Union.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      Until and unless America STOPS voting for the “beautiful” movie star like politicians with the narcissistic posing attitude of John Edwards and the intellect of Dan Quayle, not to mention the supreme ignorance and total lack of basic culture of the queen of “beauty” Sara Palin we are all in trouble.

      I like Obama and voted for him because of what I think are his values and his message; his open smile did not make much difference to me and the color of his skin did not make any difference.

      Pelosi may look good for 71 since Botox is her best friend, but her grimace only speaks about her need to control and impose a will that is not shared by the people and spelles arrogance; she has no clue how to build consensus and she may not even care (as long as the democrats have a majority in congress.

      Biden seems to have lost his own voice, but giving support to the President is what VP should do.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Au contraire. I said with Palin's smile she should be doing toothpaste ads.

    • maven101 profile image


      9 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Ralph...Where's your sense of humor..? You certainly had no problem putting down Sarah Palin's appearance...Larry

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Yes, robie, I agree. I considered deleting maven's nasty comment, but I decided to leave it up because dumb comments like his hurt more than help his cause.

      HP, you point is well taken. The appearances of the President and the next two in line for the job is not of great importance. However, there hasn't been a shortage of commentary on President Obama's remarks which I thought were excellent. Photography is my hobby, and I'm quite interested in politics and world affairs as well. I've done a couple of Hubs on Obama already.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      9 years ago from Central New Jersey

      thanks for the pix, Ralph. I recently got a new flat screen TV too-- with the new digital broadcasting it makes quite a difference.

      Gatta say I find the Pelosi bashing a bit distasteful. I'm not one of her biggest fans but it is her politics that I focus on not her age or how many nips and tucks she has had. If you are going to focus on looks not issues, stay away from politics and stick to Brittney Spears and Paris Hilton.

    • maven101 profile image


      9 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Pelosi looks like a stupified mummy...Biden looks like he has gas...and Obama looks like he inhaled it...Why would anyone want to take pictures on a TV of these three morons ?

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      9 years ago from Guwahati, India

      HI Ralph Deeds,With all respect to you, I like point out why you are after the photographs of the persons in the dais standing and seating in front of gathering where the President is going to deliver his State Union speech instead of making any remark for the contents of the address. Of course I have written something from far away as I always take into account the affairs in America which would be the cause of concerns for the rest of the world. Thanks for sharing.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      I don't get it?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love Joe Biden, and of course Barack, but not a fan of Ms. Pelosi. I do understand that men our age find her quite attractive. Maybe I'm gay. I think she has had far too much surgery and therefore she looks like a ghoul. I would hate to have to look at that smile of hers every day. Can you imagine her mad at you and still smiling? I will add that men our age express an appreciation for her legs, which she should probably show more than she does her face. I would hope my comments are not taken as misogynist, because I am not. It is Ms. Pelosi who has chosen a career in the public eye. I just happen to have one.

    • cajunrooster profile image

      John David LeCoq 

      9 years ago from San Antonio, Texas

      Looking good and being expressive surely does not make one a good or effective politician. But the appearance of being one goes a long way in this country. I just don't have much use for Miss Pelosi. I don't think she is an honest person. I do believe that Joe Biden is a good guy and stands up for what he believes in. I am also sure they both were told to look attentive and act like they were into the thing!!

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Good pictures, Ralph. I missed the telecast of the State of the Union Address because I was playing poker at the VFW, and none of the right wingers there wanted to watch or hear our president when I suggested we tune in. It's my contribution to bipartisanship!

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      She's going to be 71? She needs to retire. Please!!!!!!!

      Keep on hubbing!


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