Monday, January 28, 2008

Length of State of the Union Messages and Addresses in Words

While we wait eagerly for tonight's State of the Union Address, take some time to check out Length of State of the Union Messages and Addresses in Words. It was produced by the American Presidency Project.

The contrast in length of speeches through the years is huge. The first Annual Message (now called the State of the Union) by George Washington was only 1,089 words. In contrast, Clinton's State of the Union in 1995 was 9,190. The Constitution does not require that a State of the Union be delivered orally. Many times a president has submitted the State of the Union as a written report to Congress. In 1981, Carter delivered a 33,667 word State of the Union. Thankfully he did not deliver that as a speech to a national audience!

If you do not find the State of the Union Address fun or exciting, check out The State of the Union Address Drinking Game 2008. There is always something exciting to be done around this annual ritual.

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