The president's annual address to a joint session of Congress is rarely brief. So we asked for versions in 100 words or less. Here are two of them:
From Christopher Buckley, novelist and former White House speechwriter:
Madame Speaker, my fellow Americans,
Tonight I stand before you in this chamber to say that the state of our union stinks.
Our country has just been through the equivalent of a two-bird strike and now it's my job to try to land the plane in the Hudson River. That's Capt. Sully up there in the gallery. Let's give him a big hand. Sully, how about we switch places?
But, there is also good news. As of today's closing bell on Wall Street, my approval ratings are now higher than the Dow Jones average.
Thank you and God bless America.
From satirist Larry Beinhart:
State of the union, lots of confusion The bubble burst, markets are cursed Economy tanks, nationalize banks A stimulus bill, down from the hill Full of tax cuts, the right says nuts Makes them twitch, cause they're not for the rich Deficit spending, but not enough lending There's war in Iraq and the Taliban's back Trouble in the 'Stans, and nukes in Iran Infrastructure needs repair, along with health care Believe it or not, the planet's getting hot Deserts will roast, we'll lose the coasts It's a great big mix of things to fix That's the worst, and all in verse.
Novelist and former White House speechwriter Christopher Buckley's most recent book is Supreme Courtship. Satirist Larry Beinhart, is author of Wag The Dog and, most recently, Salvation Boulevard.