Each January the President of the US goes to Congress to present his State of the Union address.
For a foreigner observing, and reading, all of this [which Mahler's Prodigal Son is, as he is in the USA at present] it's all "political theatre" of the first order - from the President's entry to the Chamber, observing who claps when, and how, during the speech, who is snubbed and who isn't, and an almost word-by-word analysis of what was said post the speech.
Of course, listening to George Bush deliver his State of the Union address yesterday - widely covered in both the Fairfax and Murdoch press and on ABC and SBS TV - it is quite clear that what Bush said are not his words at all. They are, obviously, the "script" of a speech-writer. Bush would not be capable of stringing together the 49 minute speech let alone the catch-phrases, hyperbole, etc.
NPR [National Public Radio] this morning analysed the speech for the accuracy of the statements, assertions and claims made. Bottom line Bush doesn't make it all that well. Check out [ie listen to] NPR's fact-check here. Worth listening to!