Obama ditches preachy tone in State of the Union address

The president’s substantive content and positive tone deliver the message that America (and Congress) must get back to work.

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Let’s pretend that of all the masterful communicators available, President Obama picks you to draft his State of the Union address.

What do you do and what do you recommend?

To begin, of course, you must assess the context of the speech, i.e., whom is he addressing and what is the environment in which he is speaking.

Given this decidedly mixed bag, what kind of speech do you recommend that your president deliver?

Now that your client has delivered the goods to a far-from-breathless nation, how—objectively, without the cheerleading of MSNBC or the grousing of Fox News—did he do?

Well, as that revered patriot Larry David might put it, “Pretty, pretty good.”


From the very beginning when he launched into his, “Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student…”—Obama was upbeat, confident, and positive. In rapid-fire order, he listed areas where the U.S., in recent months, had made progress—lowering unemployment, improving housing, increasing manufacturing, and even—Are ya listening, Tea Partiers?—cutting the deficit in half.

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