The Constitution, Article II, Section 3, requires that 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…”
By tradition the “Information” is in the form of a speech, and “from time to time” has become once a year, during the last week of January. This years SOTU, as it’s called in the White House, will be on Tuesday, January 25.
One of the majestic icons of America is the picture of the House chamber packed with every member of both houses of Congress, together with the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and all the President’s Cabinet—all but one member who is kept out to be assume the Presidency in case some unspeakable catastrophe strikes the capitol during the SOTU.
This picture of the grandeur of our Republic stirs our blood and our hopes, from the cheers and protocol of the President’s arrival to the first applause line in his speech. Then any idea of comity is shattered, as every Democrat in the hall leaps to his or her feet and cheers and applauds wildly, while every Republican sits stony-faced. (more…)