As with all State of the Union addresses, they are often tailored to the times in which that are delivered. The Huffington Post outlined some memorable themes from previous speeches.
Last year’s address was a call for unity in the wake of the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
“We will move forward together or not at all,” said Obama. He advocated for investments in education, technology and transportation while calling for deficit reduction. “We do big things,” closed Obama. “The idea of America endures.”
In 2010, Obama used his address as a rallying call:
In 2010, with the White House and the Democratic Party reeling from the surprise loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat to Scott Brown – which threw the chance of passing health care reform in doubt — Obama declared “I don’t quit” but acknowledged that “change has not come fast enough.” During the speech, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito shook his head in disagreement when Obama assailed the Citizens United decision on campaign finance.
In his first State of the Union address, he focused on the economy that refused to improve:
In March 2009, Obama delivered his first State of the Union amid an economic catastrophe. He called for increased financial regulation, more investments in health care, energy and education. “Tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before,” he said.
It seems like Obama may have to look back on that speech he made some four years ago because the economy is still in bad shape. Perhaps, the Republican Party will remind us of this fact in the traditional partisan rebuttal following his speech.