2011 State of the Union: Assessing the Language

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

President Obama delivers his second State of the Union address to Congress on Jan. 25th. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty)

After President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union address author Stanley Fish responded this way to Barack Obama’s performance:

It’s as if the speech, rather than being a sustained performance with a cumulative power, was a framework on which a succession of verbal ornaments was hung, and we were invited not to move forward but to stop and ponder the significances only hinted at.”

Fish is a professor of humanities and law at Florida International University in Miami and author of the book, How to Write a Sentence.” He gives us a reaction to the language used in President Obama's second State of the Union address. Todd Zwillich, the Takeaway's Washington correspondent, also weighs in on what was missing from the address.


Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

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