By the numbers: State of the Union speeches
Jesse Tahirali, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, January 12, 2016 10:31PM EST
U.S. President Barack Obama delivered his eighth and final State of the Union address on Tuesday, discussing the economy, education, climate change and terrorism among other issues.
And while his message didn’t deviate significantly from his other speeches, one standout was the brevity of his writing. “I’m going to try to make it shorter,” he joked -- and he did. His 2016 transcript came in at just over 5,400 words -- more than 1,200 words short of his average State of the Union address.
But despite that, Obama still clocks in as the second-wordiest president of the past 50 years:
Among those thousands of words Obama has delivered, a few themes have developed. Like nearly every president for the past half century, “America” was the most-frequently uttered word in Obama’s speeches. But ignoring words like “America,” “Americans” and “States” (as well as common words like “the” and “and”), Obama most often talked about the theme of employment and the economy -- not unexpected for the president who took power during the 2008 recession.
These standout words highlight each president’s focuses and challenges during their times in office -- for example, George W. Bush most frequently used the word “Iraq,” while Lyndon B. Johnson used “Vietnam.”
Here’s a breakdown of every president’s State of the Union speech over the past 50 years: