Attention Span Theater

“I have worked on five State of the Union addresses, and they never get easier. The President starts thinking about this speech in late November, and each year, he would begin with a few bold pronouncements: ‘This will not be a laundry list!’ and ‘This one will be shorter than all the rest!'” Former presidential speech writer Jon Favreau: How Obama prepares for the grueling State of the Union. Given the storyline over the past year, Obama should spend the entire State of the Union Address delivering an introductory course on how to scale a website.

+ Here’s the key stat to focus on during this year’s SOTU: How many people are watching? Obama has a serious attention-getting problem these days. And if this State of the Union was open to anyone who wanted to attend, well, let’s just put it this way; there would still be plenty of tickets available.

+ Forget who will be there. The more important factor at each SOTU is who won’t be there. One member of the cabinet will be essentially hiding in an undisclosed location. And for the duration of the speech, that cabinet member is dubbed the “Designated Survivor.” Here’s more from Mental Floss’ brief history of the State of the Union.

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