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The President’s Annual State of the Union Address, Explained - HISTORY
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Trump has been unimpeachable in uniting a country — in horror Richard Wolffe. Trump's second State of the Union — in pictures. Wilson believed the presidency was more than an impersonal institution and active and visible presidential leadership was needed by both the people and the Congress. As an expression of this philosophy, Wilson delivered oral messages to Congress, citing the authority of the Constitution.
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For an excellent discussion of the contemporary commentary on both the Jefferson and Wilson innovations, we recommend an article by Anne Pluta, "Reassessing the Assumptions behind the Evolution of Popular Presidential Communication," Presidential Studies Quarterly March : For health reasons, Wilson did not address Congress in and Warren Harding's two messages and and Calvin Coolidge's first were also spoken messages.
Subsequently, Coolidge's remaining State of the Unions and all four of Hoover's were written. Franklin D. Roosevelt consolidated the modern practice of delivering a spoken State of the Union beginning with his first in However, there continued to be exceptions. In some cases there was only a written message and no spoken address.
These include Truman and , Eisenhower , and Carter In some years there were both written messages and oral addresses. Nixon in presented both an oral address and a written message.
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In and , Nixon submitted multiple documents entitled "State of the Union. Roosevelt's last and Eisenhower's 4th were technically written messages although they also addressed the American people via radio summarizing their reports rather than speaking to a Joint Session of Congress.
Scholarly research needs to recognize the variability in these practices. Televising the State of the Union was a further transformation of the spoken Addresses. The first televised address was Truman's in Later that same year Truman was the first to televise an address from the Oval Office. In , Lyndon Johnson began the practice of making the address in the evening in prime time and relying on teleprompters. New York Times columnist Russell Baker called this one of Johnson's "worst mistakes" inflicting a hardship on the public.
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This also marked the start of of instantaneous television commentary following the speech. The following year, , began the practice of opposition party responses to the Address. Ford held a joint news conference 15 minutes after the end of the President's address. But the main GOP rebuttal was not until five days later in a thirty-minute video-taped telecast carried at different times by the main TV networks. ABC explained the decision as one of granting equal time.
State of the Union
The five most recent presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, G. Bush, and Obama addressed a joint session of Congress shortly after their inaugurations but these messages are technically not considered to be "State of the Union" addresses. The impact of such a speech on public, media, and congressional perceptions of presidential leadership and power should be the same as if the address was an official State of the Union. These speeches are included in the table below with an asterisk. The State of the Union is delivered near the beginning of each session of Congress.
Before this meant the State of the Union was delivered usually in December. Since , the State of the Union has been delivered near the beginning each year, with some presidents delivering a final message at the end of their last term Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Ford, and Carter. The table below reflects each message's placement in the President's term. President George W. Bush delivered his last State of the Union Address on January 28, Presidents have the right to deliver either a written or spoken State of the Union in the days immediately before leaving office in January.
However, recent Presidents Reagan, George H. Bush, Clinton, George W.
Bush and Obama have chosen not to do so. In , in the midst of a government shutdown related to conflicts about how to adequately secure the Southern border, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi withdrew an invitation previously extended for a State of the Union Address tentatively scheduled for January 29, At that point, Speaker Pelosi had not yet asked for a vote on a Concurrent Resolution necessary to schedule a Joint Session of Congress. After President Trump agreed to a temporary reopening of the government, an invitation was extended to address a Joint Session on February 5,