It's the speech that's a year in the making, the president's vision, which annually interrupts an hour of regularly scheduled programming on every major network.
But in the case of President Obama's State of the Union last week; the address ranks as the least publicized presidential speech this decade. [See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]
A HighBeam Research report released today shows that among the official speeches, Obama's Jan. 24 address received less media coverage than any of his or President George W. Bush's State of the Unions.
To conduct the study, HighBeam Research compiled the total number of times the name of the president plus the words "State of the Union Address" appeared in the media in the three days leading up to a speech, the day of and in the two days after the address.
Obama's most recent address was mentioned 504 times in the news, less than half of the media attention the president received for last year's speech.
To make matters worse, President Bush earned more media attention for his State of the Unions than Obama in each comparable year. [See a photo gallery of the Bush legacy.]
See the results below.
(HighBeam Research excluded the first speeches given by presidents as they were not called State of the Union Addresses.)
President Bush Media Attention
Jan. 20, 2001 (unofficial) 0
Jan. 29, 2002 724
Jan. 28, 2003 1,653
Jan. 20, 2004 1,192
Feb. 2, 2005 983
Jan. 31, 2006 1,419
Jan. 23, 2007 1,683
Jan. 28, 2008 606
President Obama Media Attention
Feb. 24, 2009 (unofficial) 17
Jan. 27, 2010 864
Jan. 25, 2011 1,110
Jan. 24, 2012 504