Talk:2006 State of the Union Address

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Text of speech[edit]

The text of the speech is available here. All improvements are very appreciated. KI 02:31, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia:Don't include copies of primary sources. The text of the speech is available on Wikisource, along with the texts of most, possibly all, of the State of the Union addresses ever given, and the texts of many other official speeches. Let Wikisource do its job. What we should be doing is looking for secondary source materials: post-mortem analyses of the speech by political and historical commentators. They will roll in over the coming weeks, months, and years. We shouldn't even be reporting and analysing the speech firsthand. Firsthand reports of current events are primary source materials. Let Wikinews do its job, too. Wikipedia is the tertiary source. Uncle G 09:03, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
    • What's with the condescension? If you actually looked at the time I posted the speech on my temp page you would see I posted that first. Not everyone has a Wikisource account. Obviously the WP:dont include primary sources doesnt apply to personal temp pages. We should be reporting and analyzing the speech firsthand, otherwise what would Wikipedia be for? KI 15:28, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
      • Not everyone has a Wikisource account. — It's as easy to get a Wikisource account as it is to get a Wikipedia account. We should be reporting and analyzing the speech firsthand. — Wrong. See our Wikipedia:No original research official policy. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia. The news service, for firsthand news reports, is Wikinews. Uncle G 18:46, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
        • I could care less how easy it is to get a wikisource account and none of what I posted was original research. There's a difference between research and analysis. KI 21:51, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

The text of the speech is available from GPO Access here. There is no need for temp copies or Wikisource links for modern government documents. DrWitty 22:05, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Kaine is just awful[edit]

Watching his static performance, I bet the Democrats are seriously regretting choosing such an awful orator. KI 03:19, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

  • And what the heck is up (ha-ha!) with his left eyebrow??? -Bindingtheory 03:20, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

This really isn't the appropriate venue for voicing our personal opinions of the orators or their politics. Wikipedia is not a discussion forum. Please let's keep this talk page on the subject of writing this encyclopaedia article. Uncle G 09:03, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Actually his poor performance is completely relevant. KI 15:28, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
    • Not to the creation of an encyclopaedia article, which is what this talk page is for. Please read Wikipedia:Talk pages and Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Uncle G 18:47, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
      • Actually it is, and it was noted by several commentators, so I dont know what your problem is. KI 21:51, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

If this is the place to comment about the proposed merger of the Democratic response, then I want to say that it should not be merged, but there should certainly be reciprocal "See also" entries, and the entry should probably be the lead entry in each article's "See also" section. The factual blurb preceding the "Introduction" section could also conclude with a sentence describing the existence of and linking to the Democratic response (similar to the very first sentence of the blurb). DrWitty 01:53, 2 February 2006 (UTC)


The Yahoo! News source cited by this article is unstable. Yahoo! News isn't a source itself. It's not a news service. It's a news aggregator. The actual, stable, source will be an actual news service. Uncle G 09:03, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Naming dispute: sixth or fifth SOTU and ordinals versus years[edit]

I'm pretty sure that the 2006 SOTU address was number five, not six, as the 2001 address was not described as an actual State of the Union address by the White House, as far as I can tell.

A quick sampling of news articles seems to corroborate this:

Bigtimeoperator 14:13, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

From here:In Contemporary Practice, Is There a State of the Union Message Every Year? There have been occasional variations in presidential practices concerning the State of the Union Message since World War II. For instance, the past four Presidents (Ronald Reagan in 1981, George H. W. Bush in 1989, William Clinton in 1993, and George W. Bush in 2001) have chosen not to give an official State of the Union Message the year they were first inaugurated as President, having just previously delivered a keynote inaugural address.
Bigtimeoperator 14:25, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Wikisource has six speech texts. Uncle G 15:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
This is his sixth and there is already a page for his fifth. KI 15:28, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Care to provide some evidence of that? I can be convinced, but so far I think it's wrong to call 2006 his sixth.
The first address from 2001 was not technically a State of the Union Address even if Wikisource erroneously calls it that (by the way, for obvious reasons, you probably shouldn't refer to Wikipedia, -source, -etc. as primary sources when researching these articles). To my knowledge, the White House did not call it a "State of the Union address" but rather a "Budget Message". It may have functioned as a SOTU, I suppose, in that it was a venue in which the president laid out a broad agenda, but it was more accurately a "keynote inaugural address" (as the above US Senate document describes it).
I think labeling the SOTUs by year rather than ordinal number makes more sense because it avoids this sort of confusion. It also keeps Wikipedia consistent with how most other people number the SOTUs (see links above).
Bigtimeoperator 15:39, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I concur with Bigtimeoperator in that using ordinal numbers is too confusing. Even assuming for the sake of argument that this is the sixth, that tells me nothing as to when the speech was given. Using the year makes far more sense because I can place it in context of world events. howcheng {chat} 17:58, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Add another vote for naming by year rather than ordinal number. — BrianSmithson 18:00, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
The year notation seems superior, not only b/c it avoids this controversy but because it is the way these speeches (and speeches in general) are usually referenced. Works, including speeches, are usually filed under their title. In this case the title ("State of the Union Address") does not provide sufficient disambiguation; using the year to disambiguate is best because the author name also does not provide sufficient disambiguation. Bush's name should not appear in the title of the article. Christopher Parham (talk) 19:27, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree this should named 2006 per above - although I Stronly disagree that his first was not a S.U.A. it makes no difference. —This user has left wikipedia 18:12 2006-02-01

I agree that was a de facto SOTU, but it was not given officially as one. The press tends to refer to 2002 his first, though there is some split here, based on some quick and unscientific Googling. The article probably should mention these things if any mention of the order of the addresses is made.
Personally, I'm not opposed to an article titled "2001 State of the Union Address" with the disclaimer that it wasn't officially so.
(I'm fully aware how petty this point of contention is.)
Bigtimeoperator 18:29, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
From The American Presidency Project: State of the Union Messages:
Also, the three most recent presidents (Bush, Clinton, and G.W.Bush) addressed a joint session of Congress shortly after their inaugurations but these messages are actually not considered to be "State of the Union" addresses. Bush's 1989 and Clinton's 1993 messages are called "Administration Goals" speeches, and G.W. Bush's 2001 speech is actually his "Budget Message." For research purposes, it is probably harmless to categorize these as State of the Union messages since the impact of such a speech on public, media, and congressional perceptions of presidential leadership and power should be the same as if the address was an official State of the Union.
Per the above, I suggest we should go by official titles, rename each article by year, and make a notation in the 2001 speech if such a notation doesn't already exist. The article titles as they stand are confusing to users anyway. The average person is going to go search for, say, the "2002 speech", not "Speech number one (or two)". --Aaron 20:49, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Which is why I already moved it to its current title - the official title with the year in parentheses. When I created this page I was going by the title format of the John Adams State of the Union Addresses, which also happen to be the same title on wikisource, which is the same title used by everyone else. Using the year may be convenient but its correct. KI 21:12, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
What "official title"? What official gave the address the title you claim it has? The White House doesn't number them by order. It does, however assign them URLs by year:, .../2005, .../2004 and so on. It does this, in fact, for each year of Bush's presidency EXCEPT 2001.
The White House sidesteps the issue of the ordinal number of the addresses entirely (as far as I can tell). --Bigtimeoperator 21:35, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
This is ridiculous. GPO Access sets the standard. The documents themselves proclaim that they are an "Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union" followed by the particular date (Month day, year) except the very first, which is an "Inaugural Address" followed by the particular date (Month day, year). The inaugural address is indexed as a State of the Union Address (oddly). The few collections I can find online (like this) do not index these documents by ordinal. The entire ordinal issue needs to be dropped, as it seems that it's an invention of the press, not archives such as encyclopedias. DrWitty 21:53, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Whether or not the ordinal is used in the title really should be dropped because it's the commonly used way, as you said by the press, the speech is referenced. At least this nonsense about this being the "fifth" address must end. It's the sixth. Let it go. KI 22:32, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
You misunderstand. Depending upon the press source, some call it the fifth, some call it the sixth. The press does not archive these speeches as a reference does, so the confusion is a minor point to them. True archives and references do not use ordinals. The GPO does not use ordinals. The addresses themselves do not use ordinals. Nobody is completely right about the ordinal issue because it's obviously a mess, and the 1989, 1993 and 2001 addresses only prove that point. Bigtimeoperator's title proposal (Year State of the Union Address, with qualification for 1989, 1993 and 2001) is right because it solves the problem and generally conforms to the formats used by archive sites, even the American Presidency Project cited earlier. DrWitty 22:51, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
No. Ordinals are the best way to title State of the Union Addresses. This whole debate is a complete waste of time. However, I'm pasting your examples, from WP:AN, of the press using six instead of five. Thanks for finding them: Washington Times, USA Today (caption), and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. KI 22:59, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. The press does not use ordinals consistently. The conflict between Bigtimeoperator's sources and your sources, which I only cited to force a discussion, proves that ordinals should not be used because they are inherently ambiguous. I have not seen a reference that is not a web archive of a daily news source that uses ordinals in the title. DrWitty 23:12, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for titles: using GWB as an exemplar[edit]

2001 State of the Union Address by George W. Bush

2002 State of the Union Address by George W. Bush

2003 State of the Union Address by George W. Bush


The first line of the 2001 entry should explain "This speech was titled "Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on Administration Goals", but is commonly categorized as a State of the Union Address due to public perception, and the State of the Union Address' common use as a platform to announce a prospective legislative agenda."

If we simply drop the ordinal issue, which does not have a clear answer, from the title and content it seems like this addresses most concerns. DrWitty 23:07, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Let this painful and bloody chapter come to a close. --Bigtimeoperator 23:10, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
If you have no problem with 2001 State of the Union Address and then you should have no problem adding the number 1 in there. We should distinguish by the speeches using their ordinal, with the year if you want, but more importantly the ordinal. I would change "perception" to "nomenclature" but otherwise I agree with the above. KI 23:15, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I acknowledge your point, and you are not wrong. But neither is Bigtimeoperator. There are two sides to the argument, there are two uses in the press, and there are two opinions within Wikipedia users, which means you are proposing an inherently ambiguous Title unless you are arguing that every single one of these sources is definatively wrong. I disagree about "nomenclature" because that makes the argument self-referential. DrWitty 23:27, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I give up. Clearly no one agrees with me. KI 23:36, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Capitalization of "address"[edit]

CNN does not capitalize the "a" in address [1], nor does MSNBC [2], nor does BBC News [3]. I'm fairly certain the title is accurate with the "a" lowercase. --tomf688{talk} 23:54, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

No one disagrees. I didnt like how you deleted content. That's why I reverted. KI 23:56, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I was responding to this edit summary made by DrWitty. --tomf688{talk} 23:58, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I acknowledge your examples. How is this different than the Gettysburg Address? MSNBC (actually, MSNBC and Newsweek) uses inconsistent standards on that as well. The first link I included isn't even consistent, since Address is capped in the text but not the headline. I was taught that the titles of speeches, whether short form or not, are capitalized, but... ? DrWitty 00:12, 2 February 2006 (UTC) (possible discussion is why I only altered one instance)
I won't pretend to be an expert on capitalization, and I'm not really convinced either way on this issue. However, in line with similar articles such as the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, and examples provided in the media, I was under the impression that "address" should not be capitalized. ... Any english majors out there? :) --tomf688{talk} 00:17, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm seeing it done both ways by even the White House in a Google search for "State of the Union Address". The Wikinews article link in the sidebar of this article caps address. In sum, I think it should be capitalized in the article title because that is a title, and it looks odd otherwise. It seems it can legitimately be lowercase in the text itself. DrWitty 00:20, 2 February 2006 (UTC) BTW: Same reasoning for 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season as a title, but that one is obviously 2005 Atlantic hurricane season in the text.
Guide to Capitalization, the speech is a proper noun that refers to an event. As I said earlier, only the article title really grates on my sensibility. DrWitty 00:29, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh lord, kill me for writing this out, but I think I just got it as far as entries in the text. Do you consider it to be the State of the Union, which is an address, or is it the State of the Union Address, which is an event. That doesn't affect the propriety of capitalizing all nouns in an article title. I care about that, but not this. DrWitty 00:35, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Pretty sure I missed what you just said, but since the actual State of the Union page doesnt have address in the title, perhaps we should also take out address on these pages? Also, we could use a disambiguation page for George W. Bush's State of the Union addresses, and a List of State of the Union addresses. KI 00:48, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I see it reported as the State of the Union or the State of the Union (A/a)ddress, so I see no particular reason to favor the latter. Regarding the grammar: If you believe that this use of address refers to any formal presentation, then it is treated as a common noun and you'd write State of the Union address, but if you believe that this use of address refers to an particular and important event, then address could be considered part of the name of the event and you would use State of the Union Address. It's the sort of fine distinction that made me detest English classes. That's why I think you see multiple forms. Another example of no definative answer. DrWitty 01:17, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually, address is in the title on that page (State of the Union Address). Address is also a necessary term as it wasn't always an "address"; during the 19th century, it was simply a letter. Not until Wilson "addressed" Congress regarding the State of the Union was it an address. --tomf688{talk} 01:13, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Well originally it was an address, Jefferson changed it to a letter. KI 01:18, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
This is interesting because I am learning things, but could we just agree that it is appropriate to "Capitalize all words in a title except the articles (a, an, the) and prepositions and conjunctions fewer than five letters" in accord with the rule in that Guide to Capitalization? DrWitty 01:33, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I dont feel strongly one way or the other, but if we change the name of this article, make sure to change the title of the Democratic response page, the 2005 state of the union address page, and the two Adams' addresses. KI 02:39, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

human-animal hybrids[edit]

We need a note about that comment. Jack Cain 02:58, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

"Inappropriate Edit"[edit]

On January 7, 2008, my edit to the 2006 State of the Union address article was reverted by Tanthalas39 with the following comment left on my talk page:

You asked on my talk page if I was joking by leaving you the above warning. No, I was not joking. Your addition of "Jay Bennish (U.S. high school teacher who suggested in one of his classes that Bush's tone was "eerily similar" to that of Adolf Hitler's speeches in that both were very ethnocentric)" is a clear violation of Wikipedia's policies of no original research and verifiability, and completely inappropriate to the policy and tone of Wikipedia. From the comments other users have left for you, it's pretty clear that you do not have a good understanding of Wiki policies. I would suggest reading up on the two I supplied.

I'd like to hear other people's opinions. What is "inappropriate" about that edit? If the addition of an internal (!) link to a page on a State of the Union Address is reverted within less than ten minutes, and if this link is to a critical voice, does this not rather sustain those old allegations of Wikipedia's, well, Americocentrism? (As always, not a rhetorical question.) <KF> 21:41, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 07:16, 14 June 2011 (UTC)