Sometimes, his superlatives are attached to bigger boosts: the greatest IN THE WORLD, the highest IN RECORDED HISTORY, the best EVER.
The tiny-handed man said America is the world’s most prosperous and inclusive society; unemployment is at its lowest level in history for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans; poverty is at its lowest rate EVER RECORDED; unemployment for women dipped to its lowest level IN HISTORY; household income is at the highest level EVER RECORDED; America is the highest producer of oil and natural gas IN THE WORLD; the United States has the best relationship with China THAN EVER BEFORE.
Some of these boasts were untrue. Others were partly true, but fluffed up and exaggerated. Some were outright lies.
About 10 lawmakers walked out in disgust.
The speech wasn’t about the State of the Union. It was a campaign speech posing as The State of the Union. The prime-time TV special ran nearly an hour and a half and aired on 12 major TV networks before 46.8 million viewers. For 535 elected officials, attendance was expected, although eight of those men and women decided they had better things to do last Tuesday evening.
One guest was ejected, after disrupting the gathering by shouting.
Then there were special guests. Nothing new. There always are. But this time the spectacle was upped a notch. Guests included a fourth-grader who learned -- right then and there, on camera -- that she had won a scholarship to her school of choice; the legitimate president of Venezuela; a widow whose husband was killed in Iraq as the result of Soleimani’s regime; the brother of a man shot by an illegal immigrant; a 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman and his great-grandson; the parents of a humanitarian worker who was tortured and killed by ISIS; a veteran; a border patrol officer; an Afghanistan War veteran who overcame PTSD, drug addiction and homelessness; a child who was born prematurely but survived; and a military wife who was surprised to be reunited with her returning husband – on camera – while 46 million people watched.
It was a cross between a game show (with prizes and tearful reunions) and an award ceremony (with medals and applause). The Congressional Medal of Freedom, the highest honor awarded to a civilian, was surprise-presented to Rush Limbaugh. As far as I know, this was the first time the Medal of Freedom was awarded during a State of the Union speech.
Limbaugh got a standing ovation. But -- so did every second sentence spoken by the man with the tiniest hands EVER.
In the end, in my opinion, Vice President Pence wins first prize for the best nodder IN THE NATION. He is the president’s devoted Golden Retriever.
First Lady Melania wins a prize for the prettiest Stepford Wife IN THE U.S.A.
And she actually smiled. Twice.