A Look at President Obama’s Last State of the Union Address

Just weeks away from the first vote for who will take over the White House, President Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union address – something he is required, by law, to do “from time to time.”

As I’ve done before, I wanted to take a look at the words used and their frequency. It’s unscientific, non-partisan, and completely quick (because done is better than perfect).

I look at these things through the eyes of a marketer and a writer – not as a politico.

In case you forgot how word clouds work, or have never seen one before (have you been living under a rock?), this little tiny gnome inside my computer looks at President Obama’s speech, takes his clipboard and makes a tally mark every time he reads a word. Then, that gnome files all the necessary paperwork with his boss and starts typing this words into the computer (this is all happening fairly quickly) and makes the ones with the most tally marks bigger than those with few tally marks. So, the more a word is used in the speech, the bigger the word. Pretty simple. No, gnomes aren’t real… yet.

Here it is:

Word Cloud SOTU

Pretty obviously, America/American jump out. I’m going to remove some of the larger words (like those) and years (as it’s not really a descriptive or active word) to take another look.

sotu word cloud 2

Removing those words actually gives you a real look at many of the key messages of Obama’s speech: Work, People, Economy, Change, etc.

Word cloud created at http://www.tagxedo.com/  via official White House transcript available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/12/remarks-president-barack-obama-%E2%80%93-prepared-delivery-state-union-address

UPDATE: 1/12/2016 08:05 PM PACIFIC

I managed to catch the last bit of the Republican Response, so I ran the text of that speech through the gnome-powered word cloud generator as well:

republicans

 

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