Regardless of your opinions about the Obama administration, you can’t deny that it’s done an excellent job of embracing modern technology to better communicate with the American people. This will be especially apparent during the State of the Union address on Tuesday, because not only will it be streamed through Amazon, the White House will post snippets of it on Tumblr and Vine, as well as Instgram photos and tweets through Obama’s official Twitter account. What’s more, the White House launched an official Snapchat account on Monday morning, and will be giving followers a behind-the-scenes look at the address on Tuesday.
Like President Obama, we view change as an opportunity to create new things. To do big things. And like the President, we’re approaching the future with optimism. On Tuesday, the American people will see a multi-platform streaming and social broadcast of the State of the Union that reflects the ways people experience live events in 2016. We’ll be reaching people where they are — and making it possible for them to engage, respond, and share the President’s speech themselves in new and different ways. I want to share some of the specifics about what that looks like this year. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution tells us this: The President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union.” You’ll notice that exactly how the President is supposed to share the State of the Union (SOTU) is left unspecified. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson decided that speeches were too “inconvenient” and redolent of the monarchy, so he started sending reports instead. It was Woodrow Wilson in 1913 who once again directly addressed Congress in person. And ten years later, Calvin Coolidge’s voice reverberated through living rooms across the country as the address was broadcast on radio for the first time.