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Government 

State of the Union 2010

"The President shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."
-- Article II, Sec. 3, U.S. Constitution

The Speech

In 1790 George Washington delivered the first "Annual Message" to Congress. Now, 220 years later, the tradition continues. President Barack Obama gave the annual State of the Union address to Congress and the American people on January 27, 2010.

The White House blog outlined the following key points from the address:

  • Financial reform
  • Clean energy economy
  • Education
  • Lobbyist reform
  • Countering Citizen's United
  • Military families
  • National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force
  • Immigration reform

President Obama's full State of the Union Address is available online: [transcript][video]

The Response

Each year the State of the Union address is followed by a response from the opposition party. This year it was Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who delivered the response.  View his full response to President Obama's State of the Union address from the CBS website.

Fact Check

As with Presidents before him, President Obama made many large statements in his annual address.  How do these statements hold up to fact? Various agencies have checked the validity of many of the statements made in the 2010 State of the Union address, see how the facts stack up: Associated Press, ABC News, National Public Radio, FactCheck.org.

Did you know?

  • Each year one member of the President's cabinet is absent from the address. This is done to ensure a line of succession in case the unthinkable happens. [source]
  • Thomas Jefferson did not like the idea of delivering a formal speech to Congress, opting instead to deliver the address in writing. This tradition endured for a century until Woodrow Wilson, in 1913, revived the practice of delivering the address in person.  [source]
  • The tradition of the opposition response began in 1966 when two Republican congressmen delivered a televised Republican response to President Johnson's State of the Union address. [source]

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