I would have guessed even fewer. “Fewer than 33.3 million Americans watched President Obama’s State of the Union address on television last night, the lowest turnout since President Clinton’s final State of the Union address in 2000.”

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., rehearses the Republican response to the State of the Union on Capitol Hill that she will deliver in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) rehearses the Republican response to the State of the Union. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

They must have expected another Bobby Jindal performance. “Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) delivered an assured performance Tuesday night as she contrasted President Obama’s State of the Union address with the GOP’s ‘hopeful’ vision for the nation. … The speech, which was billed as the formal GOP response to Obama’s address, served as a national introduction of sorts for McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranking female Republican lawmaker in Congress and a rising star in the party. Speaking from a couch in a softly lit room, she gave a confident address that emphasized her three children and hit on broad themes to strike a contrast with Obama.”

He should have anticipated the scrutiny after a misstep that big. “Senator Ted Cruz is tired of talking about the government shutdown. . . . Unless and until Senator Cruz admits the errors of his ways–unless he is willing to concede how flawed his judgment was and explains to us what he’s learned since then–the press should keep asking the junior senator from Texas about the shutdown. Again and again and again.”

The far-right groups will need to be prepared for more disappointments. Flaky candidates are out of style these days. “Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) will not run in the special election to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), he announced Wednesday. Bridenstine’s decision is a blow to conservative groups who wanted to see him run. . . . The Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had been touting the prospect of a Bridenstine run.”

The RNC had yearned for a chance to remind voters of this bit of hypocrisy. “President Obama called for legislation to ensure women are paid the same as men, and today Lilly Ledbetter will be on Capitol Hill discussing the same issue. It’s interesting, though, that for all his talk, President Obama allows his White House to pay women less than men.” They make only 87 cents for every dollar the men earn.

They imagined they were a priority for him? “The president’s State of the Union address didn’t mention the Employment Non-Discrimination Act or the sought-after executive order to ban LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. ‘The longer the president waits the more damage LGBT people will face,’ one advocate said.” So much for closing the inequality gap.

A long time ago conservative critics predicted this. “The full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 and spillover from the civil war in neighboring Syria has again presented al Qaeda with the prospect of erecting a safe haven in Iraq, experts said on Wednesday.” No wonder Obama doesn’t talk much about foreign policy — it’s one disaster after another.