State of the Union analysis round-up

Obama’s words visualized

One way to analyze President Obama’s State of the Union is to take a look at the actual words he used.

The New York Times compares how many times the president used certain words in his address compared with previous presidents. President Obama used the words “jobs” (31 times) and “investment” (13 times), both more than President Bush. Meanwhile, President Obama only mentioned “cooperate” two times and “terror” once.

Fast Company also did a text analysis of the State of the Union. One of the top words used was “people,” according to the analysis.


State of the Digital Union

Still have questions about the State of the Union?, which streamed live the address, is taking questions from citizens. The site has lined up online roundtables on the economy, foreign policy, education and health care for Thursday. Citizens can submit questions through various websites.

The online follow-up after the State of the Union continues the online chatter during the address. Fast Company says that if you watch the address on TV only, you missed out. “The real party was online.” For example, discussions on jobs, the economy and health care took off on Facebook in the hours leading up to the address. (Check out Facebook’s chart of the discussions.)

During the State of the Union, offered graphics and statistics to accompany President Obama’s address. More so, though, the site aimed to get citizens to “engage” with that information in that “very Gov 2.0 way,” Nieman Journalism Lab reports. Nieman argues that has in effect become its own media outlet.


When he took office, President Obama vowed to make his administration the most open and transparent. So what did he say about the topic in Tuesday night’s address?

The Sunlight Foundation examined what the president said about earmarks and campaign finance disclosure.

On earmarks: In 2010, Obama encouraged greater earmarks transparency, calling for an earmarks database. An Earmark Transparency Act had bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. But, Sunlight said, “The White House was silent, and uninvolved.”

Campaign finance disclosure: It was “surprising” that this topic wasn’t mentioned at all, Sunlight said.

How tax dollars are spent: President Obama mentioned a site where the public can know how and where their taxes are being spent. Sunlight points out that such a site already exists:

Overall, Sunlight says the State of the Union, when it came to transparency, was “derivative and rhetorical.”

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