State of the Union Open Thread

I was going to write a high-snark-factor post about how nothing memorable has ever occurred in a State of the Union Address. However, I came across this Whitehouse webpage (the building, not the Senator; this is going to be really annoying for the next six years) which lists some impressive State of the Union moments…

  • 1823: James Monroe’s “Monroe Doctrine” speech.
  • 1862: Abraham Lincoln’s connects the Civil War to the emancipation of slaves.
  • 1941: Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech.
In more recent memory, both Lyndon’s Johnson the Great Society (1965) and Bill Clinton’s declaration that the “era of big government is over” (1996) were announced in States of the Union. And, of course, in 2003, George W. Bush used the State of the Union to make his case for invading Iraq.
Still, I don’t think the country would lose too much if the State of the Union, especially in its modern laundry-list form, was delivered like it was between the years 1801 and 1912…
The third President, Thomas Jefferson, objected to appearing in person – saying it was too much like an imperial or king’s speech, and for the next 100 years presidents sent a written message to Congress that was then read out for them.
It worked for Presidents Monroe and Lincoln, right?
Consider this post to be an open-thread on tonight’s State of the Union. Insightful comments, witty comments, and even comments that spin like a vinyl 78-rpm recording of “Happy Days are Here Again” are all welcome, but crude or personally insulting posts will be deleted as soon as I see them.
The comments are open now!
Here’s an incisive preview from Byron York of National Review
…the official said the speech is about as long as previous SOTU’s, as measured in words, but it should go more quickly because nobody expects there will be as much applause as in past years.

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17 years ago

It really does not have to be annoying. White House vs. Whitehouse.

17 years ago

>> Bill Clinton’s declaration that the “era of big government is over” (1996)
Did he really say that? What did he have in mind? Was that after his wife’s national health care plan fizzled?

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