Read Stuff, You Should

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

Happy Birthday to Mike Krukow, 63. Good pitcher, great broadcaster. Wish he came over to the radio side more often; during the postseason, however, he’s basically the full-time analyst and I always learn stuff from him. Not to mention that he’s good fun to have on the radio. Terrific.

All your takes on the State of the Union and the rest of the good stuff:

1. Julia Azari at Mischiefs of Faction write on “looking presidential” and the SOTU speech.

2. Lynn Vavreck at the Upshot on why politicians such as Joni Ernst talk about their difficult personal backgrounds.

3. Slate’s Fred Kaplan liked what he heard about foreign policy in the SOTU, but isn’t as thrilled with what he’s seeing outside of the speeches.

4. Where are the women? Discussing, that is, Middle East policy. Tamara Cofman Wittes and Marc Lynch at the Monkey Cage pose a tough question for the think tanks.

5. Seth Masket at Pacific Standard on state legislative elections and the problem of unopposed candidates.

6. Thad Hall at MoF suggests an agenda for Congressional Republicans who actually care about making government work better.

7. Alex Pareene, now at Gawker, gives White House speechwriters (and Aaron Sorkin) the thrashing they probably deserve.

8. And a good catch from Jaimie Fuller on one overblown claim about Barack Obama.

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