President Bush's flair for dramatic, yet not always detailed, rhetoric is well known. But last week's State of the Union address was striking for the number of key world players and events the President left out. A viewer's guide to the rhetorical no-shows:
OMISSION Enron Just the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history
WHY No need to remind voters of an ugly scandal involving a company with links to the G.O.P. Better to stick to forward-looking reforms, like protecting 401(k) plans.
OMISSION Osama bin Laden Evildoer goes oddly unmentioned.
WHY Unfortunately, he's still at large, and the "we'll smoke him out" rhetoric might sound a little tinny.
OMISSION The Middle East No sign of peace as the violence mounts.
WHY Better not to mention intractable problems.
OMISSION NATO Coalition with cold war undertones.
WHY Has the smell of Old World multilateralism--and might alienate new coalition ally Vladimir Putin
OMISSION Campaign finance reform Thanks to Enron, it's back.
WHY Bush thought if he closed his eyes, the issue (never his favorite) might disappear. Keep dreaming.
--By Harriet Barovick and John S. Dickerson