Independent Analysis of the State of the Union

[Update 10:56 pm EST]

Tweets-per-minute peak during GOP Response to SOTU: ~9,200 TPM at 10:43 pm ET, following Marco Rubio’s sip of water.

Members of Congress sent 637 Tweets during the #SOTU Address. See them at and


[Update 10:44 pm EST]

“It’s the dreams of those who are still trying to make it that sets our nation apart.” – Sen. Marco Rubio


[Update 10:42 om EST]

“And the truth is every problem can’t be solved by government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society.” – Sen. Marco Rubio


[Update 10:39 pm EST]

Sen. Marco Rubio calls for a balanced budget amendment. The focus, he argues, should be on excess spending and not generating revenue.


[Update 10:36 pm EST]

“Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.” – Senator Marco Rubio

Sen. Rubio focuses on President Obama’s focus on generating revenue to help bring down the deficit and debt. He argues for free market principles over government intervention to strengthen economic growth, create jobs, and promote prosperity.


[Update 10:28 pm EST]

While we wait on the GOP response from Senator Marco Rubio, here are some responses from Facebook on the question of whether or not Congress should raise the minimum wage:

“I think it’s a great idea. We would have fewer working poor needing food stamps and other types of government assistance if they could afford to buy their own food. Duh.” – Erin Bo Barin

“This won’t work. Why do you think many businesses outsource to China and India? They raised the minimum wage here in Albuquerque to $8.50 an hour and places are cutting back hours now.” – Scott Tidwell

“Any man or woman who goes to work every day should not live in poverty” – MaryLee Belleville

“Raising minimum wage is not the answer…this causes inflation and combine that with mandatory Obama care and small business owners will be forced to lay off workers…But when Obama & the Federal Reserve print money out of thin air and are already devaluing the dollar to the extend of requiring QE3 in the America” – Tabitha Jennings


[Update 10:15 pm EST]

“As Americans, we all share the same proud title: We are citizens.” – President Obama


[Update 10:12 pm EST]

President Obama on victims of gun violence: “They deserve a vote.”


[Update 10:10 pm EST]

“Asking campaign attorneys for the major parties to fix elections is like asking lumberjacks to solve deforestation.”

– Alex Gauthier, IVN Contributor Liaison

[Update 10:07 pm EST]

“We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home,” President Obama said. “”That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote.”

President Obama announces a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience for Americans: “The American people need it and so does our democracy.”

[Update 10:02 pm EST]

Do you believe Congress should raise the minimum wage to $9.00/hour? Let us know on our Facebook page.

[Update 9:58 pm EST]

“America must also face the real and rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks.” – President Obama

President Obama signed an executive order that will strengthen the executive branches ability to counter cyber attacks against the government, financial institutions, and the American people.

[Update 9:52 pm EST]

“America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny.” – Barack Obama

President Obama strongly proposes policies that he believes would strengthen the economy, including raising the minimum wage to $9/hour. The last time the minimum wage was increased was July 24, 2009 when it rose from $6.55 to $7.25, which was the final step of a gradual increase approved by Congress in 2007.

[Update 9:49 pm EST]

President Obama tells members of Congress to send him a comprehensive immigration reform bill. This bill does not only mean strengthening border security or creating a pathway to citizenship, but to fix the legal immigration system. Many members of Congress looked like they could get behind it.

[Update 9:46 pm EST]

President Obama addresses the need nationwide to promote STEM education, which has been covered extensively on IVN. He says we should redesign high schools and create partnerships with colleges. The questions remains, is this something every state can get behind because there are some who argue that this is not the role of the federal government. Independent-minded voters have different opinions on this issue.

[Update 9:43 pm EST]

“When talking about housing, he is asking the congress to pass a law. When talking about climate change, he makes clear that he will use executive orders.”

– Lucas Eaves, IVN staff

[Update: 9:40 pm EST]

“Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than here in the United States of America.” – President Obama


[Update: 9:37 pm EST]

“I urge this Congress get together to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change” – President Obama. The president says we can either shrug off some of the worst natural disasters to hit our country in years as just coincidences or we can accept scientific truth on the matter.

President Obama made climate change a big focus during his inaugural address and he expanded on it during the State of the Union. He wants Congress to work together to adopt energy policies that will strengthen the energy industry and address climate change.


[Update 9:34 pm EST]

“We also have to invest in the best ideas. Every $1 we invested to map the human genome returned $140” – President Obama


[Update 9:32 pm EST]

“None of us will get 100% of what we want.” The ability to find compromise is the acceptance of the truth that everyone must be willing to find common ground. Legislative gridlock will continue as long as certain factions in Congress demand that they get everything they want.


[Update 9:29 pm EST]

President Obama says now is the time to agree on comprehensive tax reform. He believes that the burden on taxpayer shouldn’t be weighed down by excess paperwork and that reform should help the economy and create jobs. It is something that many independent-minded voters can agree on, but the disagreement remains on what type of reform. Most Americans want tax reform that will benefit the American people, the nation’s economy, the labor market, and the country as a whole.


[Update 9:26 pm EST]

“Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep, but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.” – President Obama.


[Update 9:24 pm EST]

Barack Obama discusses the sequester cuts, or automatic spending cuts, and says that members of both mainstream parties can agree that it is a bad thing. However, he said that just preventing defense cuts is not the way to go. He says that people from all political ideologies know that we cannot just “cut our way to prosperity.”


[Update 9:20 pm EST]

Barack Obama said that the American people expect members of Congress and our leaders in Washington to put country and the American people before party.

[Update: 9:18 pm EST]

“Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis & can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger” – President Barack Obama

[Update: 9:17 pm EST]

[Update: 9:15 pm EST]

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner introduces President Obama

[Update: 9:09 pm EST]

“Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States…”

[Update: 8:58 pm EST]

The nine justices of the United States Supreme Court enter the chamber.

[Update: 8:55 pm EST]

While Washington gridlock is an ongoing problem in Washington, one issue that President Obama will speak on tonight that members of both mainstream political parties agree needs comprehensive reform soon is immigration. It is likely that both the president and Marco Rubio will have similar things to say on the issue, though the Republicans stress increasing border security as a high priority.

– Shawn M. Griffiths, Managing Editor of IVN

[Update: 8:53 pm EST]

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner calls the joint session of Congress to order.

[Update 8:45 pm EST]

[Update: 8:41 pm EST]

The latest from IVN: Ahead of the State of the Union, Governor Gary Johnson hosted a AMA on Reddit…

Gary Johnson AMA on Reddit: Focuses on the Future of Politics

“Gary Johnson is a frequent face on social media. Even in the political off-season the politician is constantly engaging supporters regularly and dynamically. Tuesday at 3pm PST he held his fourth ‘Ask Me Anything,’ question and answer session on Reddit. Any user is allowed to submit a question on any topic during an ‘AMA.’ The conversation varied from speculation on Tuesday’s State of the Union Address to criticism of how funds for his 2012 presidential campaign were spent.”

[Update: 8:33 pm EST]

[Update: 8:28 pm EST]

Frank Newport, Gallup editor-in-chief, reported that dysfunction in government has jumped up to the third biggest problem for Americans. Economy is number one, followed by unemployment.

[Update 8:20 pm EST]

Press Gallery Room / Andrew Doolittle
Press Gallery Room / Andrew Doolittle

[Updated 8:15 pm EST]

There’s no way we can solve these problems without working together

-Angus King (I-Maine) tells C-SPAN


*Refresh every 15 minutes for updates!

Not long from now, President Barack Obama will address the members of Congress and the American public in the first State of the Union of his second term in the Oval Office. The speech will be televised on major broadcast television and cable news stations, but there is only one place to get independent analysis of the State of the Union, and that is on IVN.

Follow this live blog for coverage of the State of the Union, independent analysis from the IVN staff, and more.

Obama Must Address Economy, Fiscal Policy During State of the Union

– Shawn M. Griffiths, Managing Editor of IVN

“President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union during his second term in office will likely give voters a preview of what to expect from the next four years. The stage has been set for a strong push for gun policy reform, additional measures to address climate change, and a focus on immigration.”

“However, one topic that the president will have to focus heavily on that he surprisingly didn’t devote much time on during his inaugural address is the economy…”