As President Obama prepares for his State Of The Union live address to the joint session of congress on February 12th, he will most likely be well aware that his speech will be watched by millions of people on the Internet around the world. In 2008, Barack Obama became the fifth youngest U.S. President-elect in history during a time where video and social media has undoubtedly changed the amount of exposure we get to the President. If you don’t count Ronald Reagan (who was an actor) then Barack Obama would have to be the most videoed president in history. Never before have we been able to chronicle the life of a politician on video, every speech, every success, every failure displayed on video for the world to see.
Although it’s called the “State Of The Union” for many of those watching it will learn more about the “State Of The President.” Just how exactly has the first four years in office changed him, not just physically, but ideologically also? We take a look back at the three speeches (Presidential acceptance speech, Inauguration, and the 2009 State of the Union address) that give us a glimpse at what can be expected during his next term in office.
WHERE YOU CAN WATCH STATE OF THE UNION LIVE ONLINE
Most of the major networks will be covering the President’s State of the Union live on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013. If you are away from your television, there are plenty of options for watching the State of the Union live online. Many online news channels will be streaming the speech live starting at 9 p.m. EST.
ABC News, Fox News, and CNN Live will be live-streaming anchored coverage of the speech starting at 9 p.m. EST. NBC News will have coverage starting at 8:45 p.m. EST with a pre-show followed by the State of the Union live online. C-SPAN coverage will begin a little earlier starting a 8 p.m. EST focusing on getting viewers thoughts on the nation’s issues via calls, Twitter, and Facebook. It will also be available on the CO.NX channel on UStream.
Before you watch the State of the Union live take a look at some of President Obama’s key addresses over the past four years and compare them to get a sense of his journey through the oval office. See what has changed and what is different. Based on these observations, what can we expect from the President in the next four years?
BEFORE THE STATE OF THE UNION THERE WERE THE PRESIDENT’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH’S
First up, let’s look at the hope-filled young Obama celebrating his election win in 2008 with his acceptance speech. President Obama’s victory speech in 2008 was full of passion and emotion, due to the historic nature of his win; it was a powerful oratory. In many ways, it would have been impossible for his 2012 victory speech to live up to his performance on that famous night back in 2008.
Now fast-forward, four years and the 2012 Obama, now past fifty, has more than a few gray hairs. He is of-course, still not with out his infamous hope as can be seen in his acceptance speech. What we saw in 2012 was a more measured, more street wise, more determined President emerging from the throws of a tough four years. In many ways the underlying narrative of both speeches remained consistent; in 2012 President Obama still speaks about overcoming adversity and finding common ground and working together.
A great example of this can be found in these words…
“… the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.”
OBAMA’S INAUGURATION SPEECHES HINTS AT WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN WATCHING STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
The underlying narrative of working together may be the same, but his approach to achieving this could be different during his next term as President. Perhaps we get a clue as to what we should expect from the State Of The Union 2013 by watching Obama’s inauguration speeches in 2008 and most recently in January 2013.
Again, during his Inauguration 2009 speech President Obama embraced the history of the union and spent time encouraging the empowerment of the individual, both in the Washington political circles and in the individual at home. In 2009, he began with the conciliatory hope of uniting Washington and working with both sides of the house, but after four years in office it appears as though his second term tactic is going to be one of empowering the people to put pressure on Washington and force change from the outside. In his 2013 Inauguration address below there was a subtle difference, which will most likely define the style and tenor of the President’s second term in office.
One of the subtle changes between the two addresses can be found in the phrases he uses. In his 2013 address 4-5 of his utterances began with the phrase “we the people,” not only did he use this several times, but his speech was littered with”we’s” and “our’s.” A speech that focused on people empowerment, President Obama spoke more to the people than he did to those in Washington. After four years in Washington, with a bipartisan house, it seems as though the President has decided on a different route for change. President Obama began his career as a community organizer, this is what he is good at and perhaps his community is now just a lot bigger.
A LOOK BACK: WATCH STATE OF THE UNION 2009
Four years ago, the country was embedded in one of the worst financial crises of its history, since then there has been a small recovery; but there is still a lot more growth required. Four years ago the house erupted, when Obama rose to speak. It was a State of the Union speech full of hope that called for unity in Washington. When the cameras role on February 12th and the world stops as people everywhere watch the State of the Union live, what will be the pivotal change in the President’s State of the Union address from four years earlier? This year, we can likely expect a tougher President Obama to emerge, one who calls upon the voices of the people and warns those who have power in Washington to listen to them.
What do you expect to hear at State of the Union address on February 12th? Will it be similar to the State of the Union speech in 2009? Let your voices be heard below.
Geoff is a globe-trotting New Zealand filmmaker and transmedia specialist working on multiple feature films while contributing to the RealPlayer blog. His groundbreaking work with interactive video content is fueled by his passion for creating technological connections between audiences and content providers. Geoff is the founder of the daily creative blog Seven Sentences, and also loves rugby, good food and three-legged dogs.