Podcast: The sorry state of the State of the Union

Posted at 4:02 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 16:02:32-05

Next Tuesday, President Obama will to tell Congress, and the rest of us, how the country is doing. It’s called the State of the Union and has become a prime-time spectacle. And that, says Steve Moffitt, has ruined the purpose of the message.

Moffitt spent years working on Capitol Hill and says the State of the Union is too staged – the event is bad TV, like a lecture that goes on too long. The Founding Fathers were pretty vague about what the State of the Union should be. Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution says the president shall “from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” 

George Washington set a precedent of delivering a live address before Congress, but for more than a hundred years, presidents just sent letters to Congress on the State of the Union. On our latest podcast, Moffitt offers up some advice on how to fix the State of the Union.

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