The State of the Union is [Insert Adjective of Your Choice – Preferably Strong, Good, or Sound]

State of the Union and Speech Wars have broken down the State of the Union Addresses of the last 40 years (or so) into their very essence.  You know, not that I trust the President, but <sarcasm>it seems like things have been humming along in this country since 1973</sarcasm>.

1973, Nixon: “The basic state of our Union today is sound, and full of promise.”
1974, Nixon: “Tonight, for the first time in 12 years, a President of the United States can report to the Congress on the state of a Union at peace with every nation of the world. ”
1975, Ford: “I must say to you that the state of the Union is not good”
1976, Ford: “Just a year ago I reported that the state of the Union was not good. Tonight, I report that the state of our Union is better–in many ways a lot better–but still not good enough.”
1977, Ford: “Taken in sum, I can report that the state of the Union is good. ”
1978, Carter: “Militarily, politically, economically, and in spirit, the state of our Union is sound.”
1979, Carter: “Tonight, there is every sign that the state of our Union is sound.”
1981, Carter: “The State of the Union is sound.”
1982, Reagan: “The economy will face difficult moments in the months ahead. But the program for economic recovery that is in place will pull the economy out of its slump and put us on the road to prosperity and stable growth by the latter half of this year. And that is why I can report to you tonight that in the near future the state of the Union and the economy will be better–much better–if we summon the strength to continue on the course that we’ve charted.”
1983, Reagan: “As we gather here tonight, the state of our Union is strong, but our economy is troubled”
1984, Reagan: “Once again, in keeping with time-honored tradition, I have come to report to you on the state of the Union, and I’m pleased to report that America is much improved, and there’s good reason to believe that improvement will continue through the days to come.”
1985, Reagan: “I come before you to report on the state of our Union, and I’m pleased to report that after 4 years of united effort, the American people have brought forth a nation renewed, stronger, freer, and more secure than before.”
1986, Reagan: “I am pleased to report the state of our Union is stronger than a year ago and growing stronger each day.”
1987, Reagan: No direct statement.
1988, Reagan: “Tonight, then, we’re strong, prosperous, at peace, and we are free. This is the state of our Union.”
1989: No State of Union Address delivered
Bush, 1990: “And let me say, that so long as we remember the American idea, so long as we live up to the American ideal, the State of the Union will remain sound and strong.”
Bush, 1991: “And the state of our Union is the union of each of us, one to the other: the sum of our friendships, marriages, families and communities.”
Bush, 1992: “And maybe for a moment it’s good to remember what, in the dailyness of our lives, we forget. We are still and ever the freest nation on Earth, the kindest nation on Earth, the strongest nation on Earth.”
1993: No State of Union Address delivered
Clinton, 1994: “Tonight, my fellow Americans, we are summoned to answer a question as old as the republic itself, what is the state of our union? It is growing stronger but it must be stronger still.”
Clinton, 1995: “But I am also proud to say tonight that our country is stronger than it was two years ago.”
Clinton, 1996: “The state of the Union is strong.”
Clinton, 1997: “My fellow Americans, the state of our union is strong, but now we must rise to the decisive moment, to make a nation and a world better than any we have ever known.”
Clinton, 1998: “Ladies and gentlemen, the state of our union is strong.”
Clinton, 1999: “My fellow Americans, I stand before you tonight to report that the state of our union is strong.”
Clinton, 2000: “My fellow Americans, the state of our union is the strongest it has ever been.”
Bush, 9/20/2001: “My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union and it is strong.”
Bush, 2002: “As we gather tonight, our Nation is at war; our economy is in recession; and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet, the state of our Union has never been stronger.”
Bush, 2003: “In a whirlwind of change and hope and peril, our faith is sure; our resolve is firm; and our Union is strong.”
Bush, 2004: ” In their efforts, their enterprise, and their character, the American people are showing that the state of our Union is confident and strong.”
Bush, 2005: “Tonight, with a healthy, growing economy, with more Americans going back to work, with our Nation an active force for good in the world, the state of our Union is confident and strong.”
Bush, 2006: “Tonight the state of our Union is strong, and together we will make it stronger.”
Bush, 2007: “We have met challenges and faced dangers, and we know that more lie ahead. Yet we can go forward with confidence, because the state of our Union is strong, our cause in the world is right, and tonight that cause goes on.”
Bush, 2008: “And so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure, and the State of our Union will remain strong.”
2009: No SOTU address delivered.
Obama, 2010: “Despite our hardships, our union is strong.”

And you know, not to break tradition, because God forbid, here is what Obama said in 2011: “The idea of America endures.  Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.”

The strong, good and sound Kool-Aid is to the left. Relatedly, the New York Times analyzed the last 75 years worth of speeches to determine certain patterns of speech and what topics were important to which Presidents. [via Clusterflock]

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