President Obama’s State of the Unions — in one chart

Wondering how President’s Obama 2012 State of the Union stacks up with his three previous speeches? (Two — 2010 and 2011 — were formally labeled State of the Unions — while the 2009 speech was simply an address to a joint session of Congress.) Us too.

The graphics wizards at the Washington Post — Wilson Andrews, we are looking at you — put together the chart below that compares all four of Obama’s speeches in terms of how much time he spent on a variety of major issues.

The economy has been the bulk of all four speeches although, interestingly, Obama talked far less about it in 2011 that he did either last night or in 201.

Aside from that discrepancy, however, what is most striking is the relative sameness — at least in terms of topics and time dedicated to them — for each of the four speeches. (The Republican National Committee has already made hay of the similarities between the 2011 and 2012 speeches.)

While State of the Union speeches draw massive amounts of media attention, they tend to be somewhat formulaic. They also tend not to greatly impact a president’s poll standing.

But, that hasn’t — and won’t — stop the media covering them like a political Superbowl.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.


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