1. I wouldn't get the president's autograph after his speech. Nobody over the age of 17 should ever ask another adult for an autograph. Don't care who it is. Ever. I've thought this for quite some time. I think the first time I thought this was at a Reds Spring Training game in Plant City, Florida. I was probably 12 and some old guy cut in front of me to get Eric Davis' autograph. I've thought of this guy and the way that he cut in front of me every time that I see an adult asking another adult for an autograph. For like the last 16 years. And then tonight I saw a bunch of Congressman/Senators asking the President for his autograph. If I am so honored to represent you, I promise to not be an old guy asking another man for his autograph.
Editor's Note: I don't really care what your politics are here. This is a safe place for everyone. I'm not really sure if the autograph seekers were Democrats, Republicans, or otherwise. They were a bunch of old white men, but that doesn't really narrow it down.
2. I wouldn't be the first to stand a clap. I don't see any real benefit in being the first one at these things to stand up and clap for what the President says. There's not much of an upside here, but plenty of downside. If you stand and clap at the wrong time (i.e. you're the only one) you pretty much look like an idiot. I'd follow the same rule that I use for standing at concerts or sporting events. I don't stand unless the person or people in front of me stands up.
3. I wouldn't wear a Sweater Dress. This one is sort of a no-brainer, since I don't even have a sweater dress. I just wanted to highlight the fact that Nancy Pelosi was wearing a sweater dress tonight. Well, maybe she wasn't, but it sure looked like it. I promise I wouldn't do this. This is sort of like the autograph thing. I don't really think a sweater dress is age appropriate. I'm going to run this one by my friend who has a fashion blog, but I'm pretty sure about this one. I probably wouldn't wear a sweater either. I think I'd probably just wear a suit.
4. I wouldn't give the opposition response speech after the State of the Union. This is another no-win situation. If the president gives a good speech, then the opposition speech always seems like a real debbie downer. If the president gives a bad speech, then everyone has already changed the channel to a network that isn't covering the speech, so nobody is going to hear you anyway. Also, the fact that the opposition response speech is immediately after the actual state of the union, the knee-jerk response of the viewing public is 'hey, this guy probably didn't even pay attention...he was thinking about/writing his speech." So there's no way this could end well, so I wouldn't do it.
Editor's Tangent - For those of you who watch 30 Rock and watched the Republican response tonight, the best observation that I heard is that Bobby Jindal sounded like Kenneth the Page during his response speech. Anytime you compare someone to Kenneth the Page, it's an awesome comparison.
5. I wouldn't fall asleep during the speech. They always cut away to the Senator/Congressman that dozes off during these things. Dude, the speech is like an hour long. How the hell do you fall asleep. I'm laying on a couch during this thing and I can stay awake. You're actually there. You know the camera is going to zoom in on you if you sleep. Honestly. Speaking of sleep, boarding starts in about 6 hours, so I should probably go to bed.