As a political junkie, I have watched with rapt attention many State of the Union speeches, probably too many, stretching back nearly 50 years. Yet I am always moved by the protocol and the pageantry. This one was no different. Especially the opening with the President citing the high privilege and distinct honor of introducing Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House. A classy start.

One thing struck me, though, after it was all over. This President pleased neither Democrats, nor Republicans, liberals, conservatives or moderates. He made some mad with his push for a guest worker program and comprehensive immigration reform, he made some mad with his continual defense of his Iraq policy, he made some mad with a tax increase and a half baked health care policy. He repeated the same old bromides for an energy policy.

This President is now faced with poll numbers that clearly indicate that the public by roughly two to one wants the Congress to take over.

What this speech and the current situation seems to dictate is that it is up to the Democrats and a host of Congressional Republicans to lead. George Bush has a year, basically, to preside over the passage of legislation that is pushed by the Democratic Congress. He did lay on the table two critical issues, among many: health care and energy independence.

Democrats should seize the day and work on these two issues to push real reform and real change. They should bring Republicans in, they should attempt real negotiation with the Bush Administration, they should use the speech as a starting off point. If this President is serious about his legacy, he needs to concentrate on domestic policy now. The Democrats in Congress have the power to push ahead. They should do it with all deliberate speed. Good politics. Good policy.