The PresidencyAmerican Government

State of the Union

Posted on in The Presidency · American Government

On January 30th, President Donald Trump appeared before a joint session of Congress to deliver his first State of the Union address. President Trump highlighted jobs and the economy, infrastructure, immigration, trade, and national security in his remarks. Congressman Joe Kennedy, of Massachusetts, delivered the official Democratic response. 

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for State of the Union

Links

The State of the Union’s History
https://www.npr.org/2018/01/31/582056582/the-state-of-the-unions-history

State of the Union viewership not ‘highest in history,’ despite President Trump’s tweet
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/state-union-viewership-highest-history-president-trumps-tweet/story?id=52769453

Polling analysis: State of the Union speeches attract high approval ratings
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/polling-analysis-state-of-the-union-speeches-attract-high-approval-ratings/

8 Key Moments And Themes From Trump’s 1st State Of The Union Address
https://www.npr.org/2018/01/31/582051675/8-key-moments-and-themes-from-trumps-first-state-of-the-union-address

Trump talks unity, sows division in State of the Union
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2018-state-of-the-union-address/trump-talks-unity-sows-division-state-union-n843166

Newt Gingrich: Trump’s State of the Union was very inclusive – No wonder it shook up Democrats
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/01/31/newt-gingrich-trumps-state-union-was-very-inclusive-no-wonder-it-shook-up-democrats.html

State of the Union: Four reactions to Trump speech
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42883258

Assessment

  • Writing: Should Presidents imitate Thomas Jefferson and send the State of the Union address to Congress in writing?
  • Debate:  The modern State of the Union is healthy for democracy.
  • Poll:  Who gave a better address, President Trump or Congressman Kennedy?
  • Short Answer:  How might you change the annual State of the Union event to make it less of a spectacle?

Current Events Quiz

1) No president delivered a State of the Union address in person until Lyndon Johnson. (T/F)

2) The opposition party has been giving an official response to the State of the Union address since the mid 1960s. (T/F)

3) President Trump was the first President to recognize guests seated in the gallery. (T/F)

4) The State of the Union is :

a. An optional address
b. Given every other year a president is in office
c. Constitutional mandated
d. Subject to which party controls Congress

5) The first President to deliver a State of the Union was

a. Abraham Lincoln
b. Ronald Reagan
c. George Washington
d. Woodrow Wilson

Answers:

1. False
2. True
3. False
4. C
5. C