Roundup: 2012 SOTU

by Taryn Wobbema

Whether you watched last night’s State of the Union address or not, here’s a roundup of the news today:

-First, here’s the full text.

-UMN professor (and Smart Politics blogger) wrote about the readability of President Obama’s speech. The Flesch-Kincaid test, which analyzes text based on the length of / number of syllables in each sentence and assigns a grade level, rated the speech at an eighth grade reading level. Ostermeier compared the last 70 orally delivered State of the Union addresses. He wrote, “Obama’s speeches are a continuation of a general pattern that finds as State of the Union Addresses have perhaps become more and more political, they have been written more and more simplistically” [emphasis his].

-As Ostermeier noted, whether or not the speech’s simplicity is good or bad depends on the intended audience. If it is intended for the American people, maybe it’s good. At least it’s easier to tweet. According to an analysis by Twitter, education was the most popular #SOTU topic. This graphic breaks down the activity throughout the speech. Behind education was energy, jobs, fairness and manufacturing. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., was listed among top tweets by members of Congress.

The Fix compared last night’s speech to Obama’s last three, finding that he addressed relatively the same topics.

Politico made a list of topics Obama neglected to address.

-NPR’s “Tell Me More” was dedicated to the State of the Union. The first segment includes two members of Congress – a Republican and a Democrat who sat next to each other during the address – who talked about any common ground presented in the speech. They also discussed the feasibility of passing any of the president’s proposed legislation during an election year.

-And, finally, a number of news outlets put together lists of the most memorable State of the Union moments over the years. Here’s a few: Politico (Top 10) – Washington Post (With video clips) – The Daily Beast (Exclusive to this year)