SOTU Speech

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  • An annotated transcript of the president's remarks.
  • The State of the Union’s original focus is to explain, well, the state of the union. But presidents have also used the high-profile speech to highlight their policy agenda, particularly what they expect to do in the next year.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama voiced regret for failing to unite Washington since taking office on a wave of hope in 2009, as he prepared to give a State of the Union speech on Tuesday to launch his final year in the White House. Asked about his inability to heal America's political divisions, Obama told NBC's "Today" show, "It's a regret."
  • Jan 12 2016
    Obama's 'non-traditional' swansong speech
    US President Barack Obama will deliver his last State of the Union address on Tuesday night, a speech about the progress made during his seven years in office and what to expect from his final lap and during the handover to his presidential successor. The annual report to Congress is a set piece on Washington's political calendar in which presidents typically lay out legislative plans. However, with a general election looming, Obama will likely focus on his legacy and try to pave the way for a Democrat to replace him.
  • The opening ritual has become familiar: The House sergeant at arms, standing just inside the door to a packed congressional chamber, loudly announces, "Mister Speaker, the President of the United States." And then? President Obama on Tuesday delivers his seventh official State of the Union address, an opportunity for him to command center stage even as the campaign to succeed him heats up. Here are six things to watch.
  • The White House says President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night will be non-traditional. What that means: Obama will be talking about himself, not asking Congress for a long list of items he knows he'll never get.
  • Let the word go forth: the oratory of Barack Obama might sometimes show the qualities of classical, Ciceronian rhetoric, with its emphasis on eloquence and utility, but it also owes a debt to those locker-room interviews in which athletes speak in strings of clichés: “we really came to play today”; “we’re taking it one game at a time”; “a win is a win.” This Obama—the nation’s starting quarterback—is the one who marched through the West Wing last summer exhorting aides, “Offense! Stay on offense,” the one who, at his year-end press conference, last month, said (not for the first time) that “interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter,” and that “in 2016, I’m going to leave it all out on the field.
  • The White House announced Friday that President Barack Obama will travel to Omaha, Nebraska and Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the days following his final State of the Union address, both cities he has not yet visited as President.
  • President Barack Obama said he will use his final State of the Union address to look beyond his final year in office by focusing on bigger, broader themes that will affect the country in the coming years. In a video and email released Wednesday, the White House that that the annual speech before a joint session of Congress would not simply follow the traditional script, which typically entails a wish list of policy proposals.
  • President Obama is teasing his final State of the Union address in a new video trailer, in which he says he’s “never been more optimistic” about a year ahead than he is right now. The video, shared by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Twitter, shows the President leaning on his desk in the Oval Office and delivering a preview of his Jan. 12 address.
  • President Obama says his final State of the Union address will spotlight the achievements of his presidency and lay out a sweeping, optimistic vision for the future. "What I want to focus on in this State of the Union is not just the remarkable progress we’ve made, not just what I want to get done in the year ahead, but what we all need to do together in the years to come: The big things that will guarantee an even stronger, better, more prosperous America for our kids," Obama says in a YouTube video released by the White House previewing the speech.
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will deliver the Republican Party's official response to the State of the Union on January 12, a major test for someone considered to be a potential nominee for vice president. Haley will get a prime-time national platform to offer a contrast not only with President Barack Obama's agenda for his final year in office, but also with Democrats seeking to succeed him in November's election.
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech next week. The appointment by Senate and House Republican leaders will only further speculation that the second-term governor of the state that holds the South's pivotal first primary on Feb. 20 is a potential vice presidential candidate in 2016.
  • President Barack Obama will use his final State of the Union address in January to deliver a "non-traditional" speech to the American people that focuses on his vision for the country, rather than a long list of legislative priorities, senior administration officials said Thursday.
  • President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address on Jan. 12, the earliest a president has delivered the annual speech since President Gerald Ford in 1977. Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., extended his invitation to Obama on Monday to address the traditional joint session of Congress, noting in a tweet that it would be Obama’s last such address.
  • Nov 30 2015
    When is the 2016 State of the Union?
    President Obama will deliver his 2016 State of the Union address on January 12, 2016 at 9 p.m. ET.