In this, the final full calendar year of President Barack Obama's second and final term in office, we thought it might be interesting to listen back to the last seven iterations of his states of the union addresses. A quick look at the history of the State of the Union address, from the U.S. House of Representatives' archives:
The annual statement on the state of the nation and its people, usually delivered to the joint Houses of Congress, wasn't called the "State of the Union" officially until 1947. From 1790 to 1946, an equivalent Presidential message was known as the "Annual Message," and the President didn't regularly deliver the speech in person until President Woodrow Wilson in 1913.
So if you have the time and are curious about how President Obama's address has gone over since his election in November 2008, walk down memory lane with us here to see.
The President delivered a hopeful message to the joint Houses of Congress (not technically a State of the Union address), and the country was eager to see the kind of President the former Illinois Senator might be. (Worth noting how young the President looks in the photo here.
One year in, and President Obama calls for a greater emphasis on job creation and economic development. Important to remember: this is the year of both the Affordable Care Act and later midterm Tea Party electoral rebellion.
Another call for greater public investment in employment opportunities, and a so-called "Sputnik Moment" for economic development. Did it work?
Another general election year, another hopeful call for future States of the Union as Republican Presidential Primary votes began in earnest. We know the President ended up winning — but how confident did he sound here of that electoral success?
It's fascinating how many of these talking points still seem to matter nearly three years later — climate change, education, gun violence, the minimum wage. Did we make progress? Or simply reiterate policy dream points?
The President here hints at some of the executive actions he was yet to take on divisive policy issues. The pen and paper push, and a constant call for educational investment.
As economic growth continued to pick up on a national scale, the President here asked for national harmony and positive collective growth. The sentiments weren't new, but the political rhetoric was optimistic with the hints of the economic success still to expand in the coming year.
The real question here in this, the final Obama State of the Union, is (unsurprisingly), who will be the person delivering this speech in the years to come?