State of the Union Watch Party Tonight

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, White House Photo, Pete Souza

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, White House Photo, Pete Souza

Tonight President Barack Obama will deliver the annual State of the Union address to Congress. His address will begin at 6:00 pm Pacific Time. The Democratic Party of Orange County will be hosting a State of the Union watch party at the IBEW Local 441 Union hall in Orange. If yo want to watch the President’s address with other like minded individuals, then this is the place to be.

What: State of the Union Watch Party

When: Tuesday February 12th at 5:30 pm. (Speech begins at 6:00 pm)

Where: IBEW Local 441 309 N Rampart Orange, CA 92868

RSVP to Marti Schrank at msocdem@yahoo.com or call 714-835-5158.

Senator Mark Rubio (Florida) will present the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union address. He will be followed by Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) who will deliver the TEA Party’s response.

Here are a few history notes regarding the opposition party responses to the State of the Union.

The first televised response was delivered in response to President Lyndon Johnson by U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen (Illinois) and U.S. Representative Gerald Ford (Michigan) in 1966. Dirksen and Ford also delivered the Republican response in 1967.

Below is the list of all responses by political party affiliation:

List of Republican responses

Date President Response given by
January 12, 1966 Lyndon Johnson U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen (Illinois) and U.S. Representative Gerald Ford (Michigan1
January 10, 1967 Lyndon Johnson U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen (Illinois) and U.S. Representative Gerald Ford (Michigan)
January 17, 1968 Lyndon Johnson U.S. Senators Thomas Kuchel (California), Charles Percy (Illinois), Howard Baker (Tennessee), Hugh Scott (Pennsylvania), John Tower (Texas), Peter Dominick (Colorado),Robert P. Griffin (Michigan), and George Murphy (California); U.S. Representatives William Steiger (Wisconsin), Gerald Ford (Michigan), Richard Poff (Virginia), George Bush(Texas), Robert Mathias (California), Charlotte Reid (Illinois), Albert Quie (Minnesota), and Melvin Laird (Wisconsin)
January 19, 1978 Jimmy Carter U.S. Senator Howard Baker Jr. (Tennessee) and U.S. Representative John Rhodes (Arizona)
January 23, 1979 Jimmy Carter U.S. Senator Howard Baker Jr. (Tennessee) and U.S. Representative John Rhodes (Arizona)
January 23, 1980 Jimmy Carter U.S. Senator Ted Stevens (Alaska) and U.S. Representative John Rhodes (Arizona)
January 25, 1994 Bill Clinton U.S. Senator Robert Dole (Kansas)
January 24, 1995 Bill Clinton New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman
January 23, 1996 Bill Clinton U.S. Senator Robert Dole (Kansas)
February 4, 1997 Bill Clinton U.S. Representative J.C. Watts (Oklahoma)
January 27, 1998 Bill Clinton U.S. Senator Trent Lott (Mississippi)
January 19, 1999 Bill Clinton U.S. Representatives Jennifer Dunn (Washington) and Steven Largent (Oklahoma)
January 27, 2000 Bill Clinton U.S. Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and William Frist (Tennessee)
January 27, 2010 Barack Obama Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
January 25, 2011 Barack Obama U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (Wisconsin)
January 24, 2012 Barack Obama Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

1 First organized, televised response to a presidential State of the Union message

Non–State of the Union responses

In addition to Republican responses to official State of the Union addresses, there have been two Republican responses to non–State of the Union speeches which were delivered soon after the inaugurations of Presidents Clinton and Obama.

Date President Address type Response given by
February 17, 1993 Bill Clinton First address to joint session of Congress U.S. Representative Bob Michel (Illinois)[3]
February 24, 2009 Barack Obama First address to joint session of Congress Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal[4]

List of Democratic responses

Date President Response given by
January 22, 1970 Richard Nixon U.S. Senators William Proxmire (Wisconsin), Mike Mansfield (Montana), Henry “Scoop” Jackson (Washington), and Edmund Muskie (Maine); U.S. Representatives Donald Fraser(Minnesota), Patsy Mink (Hawaii), and John McCormack (Massachusetts)1
January 22, 1971 Richard Nixon U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield (Montana)
January 20, 1972 Richard Nixon U.S. Senators William Proxmire (Wisconsin), Frank Church (Idaho), Thomas Eagleton (Missouri), and Lloyd Bentsen (Texas); U.S. Representatives Leonor Sullivan (Missouri),John Melcher (Montana), John Brademas (Indiana), Martha Griffiths (Michigan), Ralph Metcalfe (Illinois), Carl Albert (Oklahoma), and Hale Boggs (Louisiana)
January 20, 1974 Richard Nixon U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield (Montana)
January 15, 1975 Gerald Ford U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey (Minnesota) and U.S. Representative Carl Albert (Oklahoma)
January 19, 1976 Gerald Ford U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie (Maine)
January 26, 1982 Ronald Reagan U.S. Senators Donald Riegle (Michigan), James Sasser (Tennessee), Robert Byrd (West Virginia), Edward Kennedy (Massachusetts), Gary Hart (Colorado), Paul Sarbanes(Maryland), J. Bennett Johnston (Louisiana), and Alan Cranston (California); U.S. Representatives Albert Gore Jr. (Tennessee) and House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill(Massachusetts)1
January 25, 1983 Ronald Reagan U.S. Senators Robert Byrd (West Virginia), Paul Tsongas (Massachusetts), Bill Bradley (New Jersey), and Joe Biden (Delaware); U.S. Representatives Tom Daschle (South Dakota), Barbara Kennelly (Connecticut), House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill (Massachusetts), George Miller (California), Les AuCoin (Oregon), Paul Simon (Illinois), Timothy Wirth(Colorado), and W.G. “Bill” Hefner (North Carolina)1
January 25, 1984 Ronald Reagan U.S. Senators Joe Biden (Delaware), David Boren (Oklahoma), Carl M. Levin (Michigan), Max S. Baucus (Montana), Robert Byrd (West Virginia), Claiborne Pell (Rhode Island), and Walter Huddleston (Kentucky); U.S. Representatives Dante B. Fascell (Florida), Tom Harkin (Iowa), William Gray (Pennsylvania), House Speaker Thomas O’Neill (Massachusetts), and Barbara Boxer (California)
February 6, 1985 Ronald Reagan Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, Florida Governor Bob Graham, and U.S. House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill (Massachusetts)2
February 4, 1986 Ronald Reagan U.S. Senator George Mitchell (Maine), Missouri Lieutenant Governor Harriett WoodsVirginia Governor Charles Robb, and U.S. Representatives Thomas Daschle (South Dakota) and William Gray (Pennsylvania)
January 27, 1987 Ronald Reagan U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (West Virginia) and U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright (Texas)
January 25, 1988 Ronald Reagan U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (West Virginia) and U.S. House Speaker Jim Wright (Texas)
January 31, 1990 George H.W. Bush U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley (Washington)
January 29, 1991 George H.W. Bush U.S. Senator George Mitchell (Maine)
January 28, 1992 George H.W. Bush U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley (Washington)
January 29, 2002 George W. Bush U.S. Representative Richard Gephardt (Missouri)
January 28, 2003 George W. Bush Washington Governor Gary Locke
January 23, 2004 George W. Bush U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (South Dakota) and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (California)
February 2, 2005 George W. Bush U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nevada) and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (California)
January 31, 2006 George W. Bush Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine
January 23, 2007 George W. Bush U.S. Senator Jim Webb (Virginia)
January 28, 2008 George W. Bush Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius

Non-State of the Union responses

In addition to Democratic responses to official State of the Union addresses, there have been two Democratic responses to non-State of the Union speeches which were delivered soon after the inaugurations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Date President Address type Response given by
February 9, 1989 George H.W. Bush First address to joint session of Congress U.S. Representative Jim Wright (Texas) and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen (Texas)[1]
February 27, 2001 George W. Bush First address to joint session of Congress U.S. Representative Richard Gephardt (Missouri) and U.S. Senator Tom Daschle (South Dakota)[2]

Other historical notes about the State of the Union address. When Thomas Jefferson took office in 1801, he decided that the idea of showing up before Congress to deliver a grand address sounded like something a monarch would do, so he decided to bag the speech. Instead, he wrote down an annual message and sent it to Congress, where a clerk read it aloud to the assembled legislators.That practice continued until President Woodrow Wilson reestablished the practice back to an in-person speech in 1913. The last written address to be delivered to Congress was by President Jimmy Carter in 1981, just before he left office.

The first televised address was made by President Harry S Truman in 1947. Truman also takes the award for the longest State of the Union address at over 25,000 words in 1946. President George Washington holds the award for the shortest address at 833 words in the first State of the Union report in 1790.