The Constitution of the United States declares that a president must address Congress in an annual address, now called the State of the Union. Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 states the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
Although 83 of the 85 State of the Union Addresses have been in person, they’ve only been addressed to the American people since 1965 when the first State of the Union was televised.
Given to a joint session of the United States Congress, President Donald Trump spoke about the U.S. economy, infrastructure, immigration, foreign policy and healthcare. As reflected in the word cloud, the speech centered on uniting the nation.
The public and the media may have been surprised that Trump’s speech was optimistic and most of all, on-script. Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and staff secretary Rob Porter wrote the speech, as many presidents do not personally write the speeches they deliver. However, Trump often speaks off-script when delivering speeches, and especially when tweeting.
Although the speech centered around promoting unity, and many of the words reflected this theme, he was not completely bipartisan. I believe many of the key words shown in the word cloud were buzzwords typical of many presidential speeches, but Trump’s speech still focused on conservative policies. He spoke about the NFL protests, NAFTA, mandated family leave, criminal justice reform and immigration. Although he called for the American people to unite, most of his speech echoed the language during his campaign, which focused on uniting his core voter base.
He ended his speech with a hopeful tone, much as the majority of past presidents have done as well: “As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will never fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper, and our nation will forever be safe and strong, and proud, and mighty, and free.”