President Obama is set to deliver his final State of the Union (SOTU) address on Tuesday, January 12, 9:00 PM EST. All major networks and cable news channels will be broadcasting the speech live. The White House has also announced a variety of alternative communications and social broadcasts for the SOTU as well. You may view the speech online through whitehouse.gov, YouTube, and on the radio through NPR. The White House’s media team has also partnered with Amazon to stream via their video platform. Twitter will hold Q&As with top officials the following day and the White House’s snapchat account will be offering behind-the-scenes view of the preparations leading to the speech.
Topics and Guests of Honor
In a preview to his address, the President has promised to frame his speech around “the big things” in “the years to come,” focusing much on less on policy and more of a greater picture, outlining what the he sees as his lasting achievements. We can expect the President speak on the continuation of his movement against gun violence and to speak on the economic recovery his administration helped foster with the recently released job report. Top Democrats have encouraged their colleagues to bring Muslim-Americans as their guests to display their party’s open-mindedness in reaction to Donald Trump’s proposed ban of Muslims from entering the United States. Other key guests of honor include, Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh (guest of Rep. Justin Amash, R-MI, and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-MI) and first female commandant of West Point, Brig. Den. Diana Holland (guest of Rep. Elise Stefanik R-NY). Michelle Obama will be leaving one of her seats empty “for the victims of gun violence, who no longer have a voice,” said the White House. South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley, will be giving a brief post-address response on behalf of the Republicans. Haley is known as the youngest governor in America and will be the third consecutive woman to deliver the response.
Presidential candidate and Senator, Ted Cruz (R-TX) has stated he will be skipping the address, and will be heading to New Hampshire to campaign; an area he hasn’t campaigned since November. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), will be attending the address.
Ronny Lau, Legislative Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, January 11, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)