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Surge Desk

Obama's State of the Union Speech: Memorable Moments From Past Addresses

Jan 25, 2011 – 11:55 AM
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Steven Hoffer

Steven Hoffer Contributor

President Barack Obama's State of the Union address will surely touch on the year's accomplishments, bipartisanship efforts and domestic policy, but history tells us that tonight's most memorable moments will also be the most unpredictable.

For all the careful planning, there's no telling who will come up with a creative and timely approach to landing in history alongside the Obama as he delivers the second State of the Union address of his presidency. (The 2009 speech on health care was technically not a State of the Union because Obama was only one month into his term.)

Surge Desk rounds up a list of highlights from Obama's previous speeches before joint sessions of Congress.

1. "You lie!"
Who could forget Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's heckling outburst of "You lie," aimed at Obama during the president's statement that illegal immigrants would not be covered under his proposed health care plan?

By the way, Wilson, who later apologized for the outburst, says that he will be "flanked" by two Democrats during tonight's address, to show his bipartisanship and willingness to cooperate with the opposition.

2. Bobby Jindal's disastrous rebuttal
The Louisiana governor and rising conservative star was tapped to deliver the GOP rebuttal to Obama's 2009 speech, only to have his address bashed as "insane," "childish" and a "disaster" by Republicans as well as Democrats.

3. Justice Alito says, "Not true"
At the 2010 State of the Union, Obama's statement against the Supreme Court's ruling on corporate political donations drew the ire of Justice Samuel Alito, who could be seen mouthing what appear to be the words "not true" from his seat directly in front of the president.

4. "Lost": 1; State of the Union: 0
In January 2010, with the White House still weighing options for when to hold Obama's first official State of the Union, fans of the TV series "Lost," fearful that the president's speech would conflict with the Feb. 2 season premiere of their beloved program, screamed loud enough over the Internet to ensure that the two broadcasts would not conflict. Feeling victorious, "Lost" co-creator and Executive Producer Damon Lindelof tweeted, "OBAMA BACKED DOWN!!!! Groundhog Day is OURS!!!!!!! (God Bless America)."

More Coverage From Surge Desk:
Paul Ryan Giving the GOP's State of the Union Speech Response: 5 Facts on Him
Michele Bachmann Doing a State of the Union Rebuttal; Twitter Not Impressed
Rep. Paul Broun Will Not Be 'Kissy Kissy' at Obama State of the Union

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Filed under: Nation, Politics, Surge Desk