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State of The Union in Us President's Speech

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Campbell and Jamieson argue that State of the Union addresses typically shares a common approach. Although there are many different goals these speeches try to address they are characterized by three things- “public meditations on values, assessments of information and issues and policy recommendations”. The biggest impact that the state of the union has is that is strengthens/preserves the presidency.  This is because it allows the president to talk about policies that have been put in place or goals they have accomplished. It also connects the past with the present and discusses the hopeful future. They aim to raise morale and boost confidence that the president is doing a good job in office. Not only does it try and strengthen the relationship between the president and the people but also the relationship between congress.

Although Trump and Obama were very different presidents, their state of the union speeches had many similarities. Both focused on policies they had implemented and had a strong theme throughout of patriotism- focusing on “American values” and the military. Both also compared past years and attributed positive growth to their presidency. For example, Obama brought up how the auto industry was about to collapse- which would force many people to lose their job. He claimed he saved it and in turn helped add 160,000 jobs to the industry. Trump also talked about how he helped lower the unemployment rate for all different groups of people such as Africans, Asians, and Hispanic Americans. Not only do they both list examples of the differences they had already made but they also bring up new policies they are going to implement such as Obama and the Tax Code. Both also used real people as inspiring stories during their speech such as Bryan RItterby and Iain Lanphier. Both of these examples would show that their policies are helping everyday people within their own respective industries.

Both speeches hit the three main processes that Campbell and Jamison laid out. They both address significant problems such as “inflation, unemployment, war and poverty” which are discussed in the article. They also both bring up problems and give solutions to how they will go about fixing them or at least remaining optimistic which is also a pattern many other presidents used such as Roosevelt. They also both included past events of America and related them to today such as the civil rights era. Another main example/pattern which both use is that they address congress by telling the public about the proposed policies. This can also put pressure on Congress to pass certain policies since it was brought to the attention of the public but reaffirms shared powers between the two branches. Both of the speeches include the mention of congress and acknowledge the relationship the president shares. Although Obama had brought up Congress more than Trump and specifically focused on his own relationship with Congress and mentioned the idea of unity between the two branches and political parties  throughout his speech.

Although both hit many of the key points that Campbell and Jamieson address they still slightly differed from the pattern that was laid out as well as had different between the two speeches. Near the end of Obama’s speech, he talks about international relationships and the perception of America from other countries. Whereas Trump’s focus is constantly on America and the American people, international policy is also not talked about or included within the article. Another difference was the focus between the two speeches-Obama’s primarily focused on income inequality and the economic climate at the time. So most of his key points were about tax cuts, the American Jobs Act, and other industry employment-focused issues. Although Trump talked about his impact on the economic system, he also covered many other issues so it was less focused on one specific aspect of the presidency (although Obama also covered other issues as well).

Another main difference between the two is the usage of statistics. Trump frequently uses very exact statistics and numbers to show his impact. Compared to Obama’s speech, he talks about the impact his policies have had but doesn’t cite as many exact sources of information. Statistics is another aspect to the addresses that aren’t mentioned within the article. This also brings up another aspect to State of the Union speeches- how factually accurate are they? Knowing these speeches are made to help raise morale for the American people, it makes sense that some of these claims may not be accurate or exaggerated. The relationship between the president and congress is also very different and noticeable within the speeches as well.

Although these presidents are very different from one another and had different viewpoints/ and presidential terms, their speeches were very similar. They all hit key points that Campbell and Jamieson discuss, which also is similar to many other past presidents as well.  Patriotism plays a key role since it focuses on the American people and aims for people to feel more confident with the president and current events. The differences between the two stem from the fact that they are different people with different focuses, which isn’t necessarily surprising. I would predict if I were to analyze other State of the Union addresses that they would also share very similar approaches and rhetoric in order to persuade the American people. 

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State of The Union in US President’s Speech. (2022, July 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from
“State of The Union in US President’s Speech.” GradesFixer, 07 Jul. 2022,
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