President Obama promised a “shorter” State of the Union, and delivered.
President Obama kept it short and sweet for his final State of the Union address — delivering the briefest one not only of his presidency, but in the past decade.
The president started his eighth address by saying he would “make it shorter,” joking: “I know some of you are antsy to get back to Iowa.”
“I’ve been there, I’ll be shakin’ hands afterward if you want some tips,” he added, going off script.
He stuck to his word about his words. His State of the Union grand finale came in at just 5,481 words over one hour.
Obama’s word choice itself was a surprise — mostly because of which ones he barely used. His speech only included one instance of the words “gun” and “refugee,” both touching off topics many expected to be focal points of his talk.
“Economy,” meanwhile, appeared 15 times, reflecting one of the few times that was front and center in every one of Obama’s address.
Obama assured that protecting Americans from terrorism is “priority number one,” and that came through in his rhetoric — he said “ISIL” nine times, “terrorist’ seven.
With the exception of his non-State of the Union in 2009, every other Obama address at least went over 6,000 words.
This is also the tightest one since George W. Bush kept it breezy in 2005 with 5,096 words.
Words and phrases from Obama’s final SOTU
Climate change: Four