sotu

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Jan. 11, 2016

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. leans in to kiss former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., before President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Despite a shortened week, lawmakers still found time to display liquid nicotine, giggle repeatedly and flub Heisman winners.  

Cruz Skipped Vote Draws Paul's Ire

Paul was not at the State of the Union (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With public viewership of the State of the Union address in decline, members of Congress are following suit — and criticizing each other for missing votes.  

Of the four members of Congress running for president, only two showed up. While Sens. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., were in attendance — and a part of the welcoming committee — Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., skipped the speech.

Cancer Awareness Permeates Capitol Hill

Davis, his guests and McCarthy show off their bracelets (Photo Courtesy of Davis' twitter).

Members wore gray bracelets to the State of the Union to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.  

Rep. Rodney Davis’, R-Ill., guest was Kimberly Wade, the mother of 8-year-old Jonny Wade, who died on Christmas Eve of brain cancer. Davis walked from office to office handing out the gray bracelets, which a bipartisan group of lawmakers all wore and pledged their support for “Team Jonny.”  

Overheard: His Best?

Was this Obama's best State of the Union? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HOH received a bipartisan ‘yes’ and positive thoughts from lawmakers when asked if Tuesday night was President Barack Obama’s best State of the Union.  

“I thought it was the best of the eight that he’s given. The basic appeal to American values was good, the reaching out to [Speaker Paul D. Ryan] on the poverty issue was good, the acknowledgment that we got a lot done together last year … those were good things. I was pleased that he mentioned cancer … disappointed that he didn’t acknowledge that Republicans have doubled the increase what he asked for [in the omnibus]. He’s kind of catching up with us there.” –Rep Tom Cole, R-Okla. “Today was his best State of the Union, it was less political. It was an emotional moment when he declared a war on cancer; there is no member who hasn’t been affected by cancer.” –Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. “Today was very good, I think today was a good capstone. I think it was great that he had the opportunity to kind of broaden (his) vision, already transitioning from presidency to a statesman." –Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich. “It didn’t seem to have as many highs and lows, the explosion, as many roaring applause lines. But it seemed more powerful, it seemed the tone was different than some of the other ones. A more thoughtful, deeper, tone than some of the previous ones and not just getting that great punch line.” –Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla. “In fairness to the president, I’ve given my share of state addresses, they weren’t State of the Unions but I did eight of ‘em. Thematically, they’re very, very awkward speeches. You know, your staff and team give you like this colloquial laundry list of all the things you need to cover but thematically, it really doesn’t fit. So I have a degree of empathy for the president whether in this State of the Union address, in the last one, and they are difficult.” –Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C. , referring to his eight years as South Carolina’s governor.  

The Red and Blue and Purple Carpet

Obama wore a blue tie and Biden and Ryan both wore red. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The best outfit pieces at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address were not visible from the cameras.  

“I’m wearing my Hillary necklace,” Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told HOH, holding up an “H” necklace over her gray sweater and jacket to support presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, wore camouflage print low-heels, which she wore last year when she delivered the Republican response to the 2015 SOTU .  

Foreign Policy Responses to SOTU High on Social Media

Maryland and Virginia were the most social states Tuesday night (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

The top social moment on Facebook on Tuesday night was when President Barack Obama spoke on anti-Muslim sentiment in his final State of the Union, according to follow up data from the social media platform.  

The top issues among Facebook users in general seen through engagement were Iran, Islam and Muslims, ISIS, terrorism, and food stamps.  

Members to Wear #InTheRed Pins at SOTU

(Photo courtesy of Wyden's Twitter)

Senate Democrats are wearing #InTheRed pins on Tuesday to advocate for reducing college costs and student debt.  

The goal of the campaign is for Congress to address college affordability in 2016. Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Sens. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and six others are bringing students as their guests to President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union.  

Facebook Sees SOTU Chatter From Millions

People are discussing guns Guns in the context of the State of the Union on Facebook (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Guns are currently the most talked about topic on Facebook in the context of President Barack Obama and the State of the Union address, according to data released by the social media platform.  

The second most talked about is “Islam and Muslims,” according to Facebook, then ISIS, crime and criminal justice and terrorism. Overall, 15 million people have discussed the SOTU and Obama on Facebook in the past week.  

Quiz: Which POTUS Said This During a State of the Union?

We scoured the history books for presidential lines that may, or may not, surprise you.  

Try your luck at selecting the speaker for each wonky State of the Union quote. Let us know how you did in the comments below.