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January 25th, 2012

Obama’s State of the Union Speech: By the Numbers

President Obama’s State of the Union speech was both reminiscent of his 2008 campaign and a preview of what we can expect in the 2012 general election. Instead of running as the liberal we all know him to be, Obama sounded like a moderate centrist.

It was a well-delivered speech, as should be expected. Both teleprompters were fully functional. Obama’s close was particularly strong, tying the teamwork of the Navy Seals team that killed Osama Bin Laden to the necessity for all Americans to work together.

Here is a by-the-numbers breakdown of President Obama’s speech:

References to himself: 104

Obama’s favorite person got the most mentions. This includes ‘I’ (72 times), ‘Me’,(13 times) or ‘My’ (19 times).  It’s actually down a tad from the 116 mentions of himself in the 2010 State of the Union.

Times he was interrupted by applause: 60

Standing ovations from both sides of the aisle: 17

Standing ovations from Democrats: 22

Standing ovations from Republicans: 2

Mentions of cities in battleground states: 9

This included cities in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. The only other city that got any love was Chicago. Naturally.

Times he blamed Bush: 7

Some of these were references to “the previous administration”. Others were more vague, but its clear that the Democrat strategy of blaming the country’s woes on George W. Bush continues, three years after he left office.

Times he said “fair”: 7

This was usually as part of “fair share”, when he advocated for the rich paying more taxes.

Times he told anecdotes using regular Americans: 5

Obama routinely uses these in his speeches. “The CEO of a company”, “a worker who was laid off”, etc. In previous State of the Union speeches, he referred vaguely to Americans he claims to have met or heard from. This time he used actual names, some of which were in the audience.

Times he proposed new federal departments or bureaucracies: 5

This includes the one reference to his new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which he created  a head for with an unconstitutional recess appointment.

Dubious claims that our alliances with our allies, like Israel, and our standing in the world is stronger than ever: 3

Just three months ago, Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were caught on tape voicing their dislike of Israel’s Prime Minister. Foreign media and leaders tell a much different story than Obama does.

Times he took credit for Ford’s success: 1

Obama linked the Ford Motor Company in with the auto bailouts and praised Ford’s success. There’s just one problem. Ford refused the government bailout. They succeeded without government intervention. You would never know that by listening to Obama’s speech.

Pleas for amnesty for illegals: 1

Support for SOPA: 1

Bad jokes: 1

He referred to an old regulation that compared oil spills to spilled milk, then used the “don’t go crying over spilled milk” cliché. Standup comedy is not Obama’s forte.

Mentions of Vice President Joe Biden: 2

Once was at the very beginning of the speech.

Mentions of universal health care: 1

Interestingly, ObamaCare was almost entirely ignored. Odd, since he based the first two years of his presidency around it. Must be an election year.

Mentions of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi: 0

Lessons learned from Solyndra: 0

Despite wasting $565 million in taxpayer money on a solar panel company that went bankrupt, Obama pledged he “will not walk away from the promise of clean energy”.

Mentions of the Keystone pipeline: 0

Although he gave lip service to creating jobs and a comprehensive energy strategy, Obama caved to the environmental lobby and killed a deal that would have created 20,000 new jobs and helped America’s energy interests. He conveniently omitted that fact from Tuesday’s speech. 

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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