The state of the State of the Union: Comatose

Why only squares and Speechwriter’s Newsletter editors watch this speech year after year.

Why only squares and Speechwriter’s Newsletter editors watch this speech year after year

My dad is an 84-year-old WWII veteran who hasn’t been drunk since the 1950s, eats a tuna fish sandwich every single day for lunch and never leaves his bedroom without shoes on.

The only time I feel more square than Dad is while I’m watching the State of the Union Address and imaging he has the good sense to be watching Girls Gone Wild or something.

As editor of Speechwriter’s Newsletter, I approach the SOTU Address the same way presidential speechwriters approach their annual project—with a pot of coffee, a pad of paper and a question: Despite our fondest, most outlandish dreams, will this year’s address be anything more than the symbolic ritual it has been pretty much every year since they stopped calling it by its rightly dreary original title, the Annual Message to Congress?

This year’s speech, alas, was typical in its failed promise to give the nation a meaningful assessment of itself.

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