It's ironic. On the day former Vice President Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth,'' the tour de force on global warming, got two Oscar nominations, President Bush paid attention to climate change in his State of the Union speech.
Sounded good -- calls to increase fuel economy and encourage new technologies -- until one recalls that a year ago Bush in the same address asked the nation to end its addiction to oil.
It's oil addiction, the sequel.
Bush getting more engaged in the reality of climate change is important but also highlights the lack of significant progress in the last 12 months.
There's been no cure, not even a patch to stop the craving.
The speech, Bush's seventh, was delivered before a skeptical audience -- the Democrats who control both chambers for the first time since 1994. Bush threw a gracious bouquet to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the very top, noting he was the first president to start a State of the Union with these words: "Madame Speaker." He reached out to Democrats, but he's done that before. The difference in 2007 is that Bush needs Democrats if he wants to get anything done.
Democrats are already in 2008 White House campaign mode and Bush's second-to-last State of the Union comes in that context. The 2008 front-runners, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, sat behind each other, a mile-wide row apart.
Bush saved Iraq for the last portion of the speech. "The pall over the room was Iraq," Obama said later on CNN, one of a series of national post-speech interviews he booked. Bush pleaded to give his strategy to send more troops to Iraq a chance.
How will sequel end?
"The war on terror we fight today is a generational struggle that will continue long after you and I have turned our duties over to others," Bush said.
But Bush's plea and prophetic dark warning about the future will not change the determination of the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate to try to find ways to handcuff the commander-in-chief.
On the domestic front, Bush had another re-release, his call for overhauling the nation's immigration laws. Republicans at odds with a compromise reached by Bush and a bipartisan group of lawmakers thwarted the passage of legislation last year that created a path to legalized status for the millions of people in the U.S. illegally.
Immigration policy has much bipartisan promise in this Democratic Congress.
"We need to resolve the status of the illegal immigrants who are already in our country -- without animosity and without amnesty," said Bush.
Nothing new here in the proposals. Just a new Congress willing to consider them.
The Democrats in charge of Congress are eager to demonstrate to the U.S. public Democrats can govern.
When it comes to immigration this time, the sequel may just have a new ending. It's part of the buildup to the Democratic blockbuster in the works: the 2008 race for the White House.