The White House Blog: The President

  • The Economic Message of Last Night's State of the Union, in Three Images:

    Here's a piece of the State of the Union process you might not have known about:

    A couple hours before the President heads to the Capitol, we print out a "pocket card" for Members of Congress so they can get all the facts in one easy-to-read place. Staffers print out a big stack of the cards in the basement of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and send them over to Congress in a van.

    Staffers head up to the main floor of the Capitol, where they stack the pocket cards in the cloakrooms adjacent to the chamber. Fun fact: That's also where Members' advance copies of the speech are printed, before they're passed out in the Chamber itself, about ten minutes before the speech.

    Even-more-fun fact: This year, the American people got their own advance copy of the speech, too. We posted it on Medium, complete with helpful charts and graphics to help drill down on the President's points. Take a look -- and leave notes about your favorite parts.

    You can take a look at the actual pocket card that Members received last night here -- but it's a little dense.

    So here are the main points, broken down in three images from our enhanced speech last night. Consider it your digital pocket card:


  • The Enhanced 2015 State of the Union: By the Numbers

    Every year, we do everything we can to step up our game around the State of the Union, using new approaches to engage the public online in different and compelling ways. We want to give people a better way to understand the President’s policies and why they’re important to them and their communities. This year, the goal was no different, but we rolled out an exciting new a range of improved platforms, coordinating with the White House policy and speechwriting offices to build digital content into the speech itself. Find out more here.


  • The Can't-Miss Moments from the 2015 State of the Union Address

    President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, Jan. 20, 2015.

    President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    "Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America. We have laid a new foundation. A brighter future is ours to write."

     

    Last night, President Obama stood on the House floor of the Capitol to deliver his sixth State of the Union Address to Congress and the American people.

    It was a memorable night -- with inspiring guests, important proposals, and a few irreverant quips here and there. It's a must-see speech, so if you missed it, watch the enhanced version here. But if you're looking to relive the highlights, here are a few of our favorite, can't-miss moments from the evening. 


    Middle-Class Economics: "It's Time"

    From raising the minimum wage and equal pay to child care and paid leave, there's a lot that we can do in America to give hardworking, middle-class families a fair shot at getting ahead. 


  • Watch: President Obama's 2015 State of the Union

    "A brighter future is ours to write. Let's begin this new chapter -- together -- and let's start the work right now."

    Those were a few of President Obama's final words as he finished delivering his sixth State of the Union address moments ago.

    He spoke not just about where we are as nation, but where we're going.

    This is a speech you don't want to miss -- so if you didn't see it live, make sure you watch the full enhanced version now.

    Watch on YouTube


  • In Case You Missed It: How We Honored Dr. King

    In 1994, Congress designated the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a national day of service -- a "day on, not a day off." The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service is an opportunity for all Americans to honor Dr. King by coming together to help meet the needs of their communities and recommit to service throughout the year. Throughout the day yesterday, the President and the First Lady, the Vice President, Cabinet secretaries, and other senior Administration officials participated in a number of community service projects both in DC and throughout the nation. 


    Here's How We Honored Dr. King:

    President Obama 


  • Enhancing the 2015 State of the Union: Announcing Our "River of Content"

    We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to use digital channels to better engage with the public and give people a way to participate and interact with President Obama. Since 2011, a big part of that has been the "enhanced" version of the President’s State of the Union address, adding charts and graphics to give a deeper look at why policies are pursued, and what they mean for the American people. The format has improved over the years, including last year’s page which incorporated a real-time "tweetserver" that enabled users to share content in real time.

    This year, we've been hard at work -- and tomorrow, we'll be rolling out a whole new stream of supporting material at WH.gov/SOTU. We’re calling it our “river of content." In addition to the enhanced livestream that features graphics augmenting the speech, the river will provide a series of discrete pieces of content, or "boats," that showcase expanded, standalone views into Administration policy -- often with an interactive or personalized component. It’s part of an effort to make policy more specific and interesting, and more relevant to the people who will be affected.


  • Get Ready: President Obama’s State of the Union Address is One Day Away

    One day from today on Tuesday, January 20, President Obama will go to the U.S. Capitol and present his sixth State of the Union address to Congress and the American public.

    The State of the Union is a time-honored tradition where the President updates Congress on his plans for the upcoming year, and speaks to the American people about his Administration’s priorities and policies.

    The First Lady accompanies the President to the Capitol to hear him speak. Over the past three decades it has become a tradition that the First Lady also invites several honored guests – Americans who have done something to deserve recognition - to join her in the First Lady’s box to listen to the President’s address. 

    Jimmy Carter First Lady Box

    The First Lady’s Box at the 1979 State of the Union. January 23, 1979. (by the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum of the National Archives and Records Administration.)


  • Email from First Lady Michelle Obama: "The Most Important Story"

    This afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama sent a message to the White House email list, letting readers know that the very best place to watch the State of the Union is at WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU. Check out her email, share this video from the President, and tune in to watch the State of the Union tomorrow night.

    Didn't get it? Make sure you sign up for email updates here.


    Tomorrow night, Barack will deliver his sixth State of the Union address.

    That means tonight, he’ll be sitting down at his desk, reviewing each and every word to make sure his speech tells the most important story: yours.

    For Barack, that is what this address is about. Not politics or partisanship, but the lives you lead, the challenges you face, and the future you hope to build for yourself and for your children. Every day, he reads those stories in the letters folks send to him from across the country.

    Barack sat down to talk about what makes the address so personal for him, and what will make 2015 special.

    Make sure you watch the video -- then join me and millions of other Americans on Tuesday in watching the State of the Union.

    Watch on YouTube


  • Watching the State of the Union: Everything You Need to Know

    The Best Way to Watch

    No matter your device, WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU is the place to watch President Obama's State of the Union address tomorrow at 9 p.m. ET. 

    Stream the address and follow along with exclusive interactive graphics and charts showing what the announcements mean for you.

    Then, be sure to stick around after the speech for an exclusive live video Q&A.

     

    #AskTheWH

    On the day after the State of the Union, join us for an online, all-day open house: Ask questions across social media using #AskTheWH and follow along.

    We’re calling it Big Block of Cheese Day, in honor of President Andrew Jackson’s 1837 open house featuring a 1,400-pound block of cheese. (Read more about that here.)


  • President Obama Reflects on Dr. King's Legacy and Honors It with Service

    Watch on YouTube

    Honoring the life of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Obama issued a proclamation commemorating the federal holiday marking Dr. King's birthday, and encouraged all Americans to honor his legacy through their own service.