In the State of the Union, President Obama Will Only Say This Once
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Don't count on President Barack Obama to utter the word "freedom" much during his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night.
That's because the president has said "freedom" three times in his three State of the Union speeches (once per year), which doesn't come close to the 78 times George W. Bush mentioned the word in his seven speeches.
But Obama says "companies" and "businesses" much more frequently than predecessors Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
The president, who opponents argued was the anti-business candidate in 2012, has talked about companies and businesses more than the previous five presidents combined. In fact, those words were in 66% of the 30 speeches he's given since 1978.
The president's attention to the private industry has emerged alongside sustained distress in the financial system and global economy. Context surrounding his rhetoric on businesses and companies has shifted over the years.
Much of Obama's first State of the Union address cited deeply negative aspects of the Great Recession, like: businesses shuttering, access to credit and company abuses. But by his 2012 speech -- during an election year -- the tone turned more positive, such as: tax breaks for small businesses and healthy growth of innovative, new companies.
If we break down the speeches of past presidents, the language reveals that they've each faced eras that demanded different actions.
Americans grew familiar with George W. Bush's attention to terrorism and terrorists. He said both words a combined 111 times. All other presidents since Carter mentioned terrorism and terrorists just 32 times combined. Obama didn't even use the word in last year's speech.