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    Anecdotal Observations On History & Politics

    Entries in State of the Union (2)


    State of the Union: 1962-2012 Word Cloud

    In anticipation of President Obama's February 12th State of the Union Address, I've compiled every speech since 1962 -- that's 50 years of SOTU addresses -- in one word cloud:

    No surprise that when combined, "America" and "American" are mentioned most, but the word "more" is almost tied for first. Also interesting is that "federal" and "government" appear above the word "freedom" and "united". "Program" and "programs," when combined, rank equal to the word "government" at the top.

    Here are the rankings,  most used words first:

    more all people new America year world years Congress American now government make one work help Americans every time nation Federal tonight country security last States peace tax other know budget first health children need most over because great many economy economic national only future United together jobs let about own some programs support just care program freedom nations here energy ask good system war Act billion continue million way percent give better hope today take free next state through come President well growth right families home want education reform made life spending any Union meet two plan policy say nuclear still working Administration progress again America's before increase history without past Social believe provide even both defense strong long against power trade like ago citizens best never century go high military opportunity


    Obama Channels Eisenhower

    President Obama's State of the Union speech made every attempt to stress the importance of education and innovation as a means of "winning the future," which is a message not unlike former President Dwight D. Eisenhower's State of the Union in 1958. 

    The US was caught by surprise with launch of Sputnik in 1957 -- an event that began the space race and put a emphasis on the technological capacities of the two great superpowers. Calling this challenge "a different kind of war," then-president Eisenhower took it upon himself to boost America's future potential in the fields of science and math so as to empower the nation to compete internationally. In his 1958 State of the Union he emphasized the need for more than just military power alone:

    We must never become so preoccupied with our desire for military strength that we neglect those areas of economic development, trade, diplomacy, education, ideas and principles where the foundations of real peace must be laid.

    The challenge, as Eisenhower put it was, "not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow," a theme not unlike Obama's concept of "winning the future".