Internet Buzz on Obama Drops After State of the Union

Bloggers are especially miffed with Obama’s jobs plan and his handling of terrorism issues.

By + More

By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

The blog reviews of President Obama's first State of the Union speech are in, and they're not good. The president's speech drove his online buzz down 2 percentage points, with bloggers especially harsh on his approach to unemployment and terrorism.

"Heading into yesterday's State of the Union address, President Obama's online buzz was 52 percent positive, which was 32 percent lower than it was on Jan. 27, 2009, when it peaked at 84 percent positive. Since giving his State of the Union speech last night, President Obama's overall online buzz reputation continued to drop and is currently registering at 50 percent positive overall—a 2 percent total reduction in less than a 24-hour period," says a spokesman for Zeta Interactive, a digital marketing agency that mines millions of blogs to judge the buzz on a subject for Washington Whispers.

Below is its post-speech memo to us, but the highlights seem to show that for many, the Obama thrill is gone. For example, the negative buzz on blogs increased when he talked about his new signature issue, unemployment. It also dropped on his approach to the wars.

But Obama scored on his threats to banks, his education promises, and his push for an energy plan.

The memo:

We decided to take a more in-depth look at blogosphere reaction following the State of the Union last night and not just look at how the President's reputation fared, but also how the topics he discussed were received.

First things first though. Heading into yesterday's State of the Union address, President Obama's online buzz was 52% positive, which was 32% lower than it was on January 27, 2009, when it peaked at 84% positive. Since giving his State of the Union speech last night, President Obama's overall online buzz reputation continued to drop, and is currently registering at 50% positive overall – a 2% total reduction in less than a 24 hour period.

The blogosphere is a fickle environment and one that can change on a dime based on huge public groundswell of support or a controversial topic that ignites a deluge of "venting". There were several chances for either of these scenarios last night, sometimes cancelling each other out in terms of online feedback.

Even though President Obama's overall online reputation dropped by 2% since the speech, he did receive a very warm reception in some of the topics and plans he addressed last night. Here's the breakdown of what subjects/topics of last night's speech received the most positive and negative "buzz", and how this compared to the buzz for each subject before the speech:

Most Positive Buzz.

Obama's approach on:

Financial industry/banks

Pre-State of the Union: 73% positive

Post-State of the Union: 84% positive

Change: +11% positive 

Education plan

Pre-State of the Union: 82% positive

Post-State of the Union: 83% positive

Change: +1% positive 

Energy plan

Pre-State of the Union: 72% positive

Post-State of the Union: 78% positive

Change: +6% positive

Most Negative Buzz. 

Obama's approach on:

War on terror/overseas troops (48% positive)

Pre-State of the Union: 50% positive

Post-State of the Union: 48% positive

Change: –2% 

Unemployment/jobs plan (53% positive)

Pre-State of the Union: 52% positive

Post-State of the Union: 45% positive

Change: –7% 

As you can see, certain topics like national security dipped a bit in tone because of less time dedicated to the discussion by the president. Other issues, like unemployment, remain so heated online that they are unlikely to be helped by anything short of a full economic recovery at this point. 

Overall, we can deduce that there were no dramatic shifts in public opinion on the blogosphere as people are still waiting to see how President Obama's plans turn out. Interestingly, three of the five most popular words associated online about Obama before last night's speech were "American", "first year", and "plan". Following the speech? The three most popular words associated were "promises", "hope", and "old".