Here’s the word cloud from last night’s State of the Union address. Some of the top words: “America” and “American” and “Americans.” See a theme here? Other key ones: “people” and “jobs” and “help” and “work.” Again, see a theme?
Here’s the full speech:
And here’s probably the most talked-about moment, with soldier Cory Remsburg:
If you go through the full transcript, one of the ideas was clearly “We’re in this together,” which could be a shot at GOP-Democratic bickering or could be a broader idea tied back to basic religious concepts of brotherhood, etc. It’s a good theme for the present — especially that the word “help” was in there, because there are pockets of people that need that, even if the flip side of that narrative is “handouts!” Life is short, and while being born in America (or living here) can be a blessing, we still do need to watch out for each other and promote opportunity (which was mentioned 12 times).
Interestingly, Obama’s first #SOTU was on February 24, 2009. Here’s the word cloud for that one (technically it wasn’t a State of the Union, but rather a speech about a month after he was inaugurated):
The big ones there are “American” (check), “economy” (always going to pop in these word clouds), “health” (interesting), “people” (got it), “years” (hmmm), and “care.” So, five years apart, the themes are broadly similar — with maybe a bit more touching on health care back in the 2009 speech.
Here’s video of that speech:
Can we draw any broader trends from this? Probably not, because the contextual confines of State of the Union speeches mean you have to reference the same types of words year-in and year-out. For example, here’s President Bush’s 2008 SOTU — his last one, and the last one from a Republican President to date. Check it out. The keywords are pretty much the same:
TL:DR for this? Presidents love to invoke America and its collective greatness, which is a large part of their responsibility in a speech such as this. They also like to talk about jobs (again, a great responsibility). Maybe they could talk about health care a little bit more, but that’s always going to be on the back burner when job creation doesn’t seem completely robust.