In the past, the State of the Union was a necessary event, because people were much less in-tune with the workings of the government. However, in today's 24/7 political saturation of the news, the State of the Union is simply another political speech, complete with half-truths and policy preferences that are quickly forgotten the next week.
The State of the Union Address is something that the US president is commanded to give to Congress regularly, according to our Constitution. The Constitution was written in 1789, centuries before television or quick communication and truly mass media. Today we can hear what the President thinks by watching the daily White House press briefing online. We don't need an annual pompous speech.
The State of the Union address serves as an update and frame of reference for the citizens of the U.S. It is a really good vehicle to let our President speak directly to the people of the country. Over the years, the State of the Union address has often been the one speech that most citizens look forward to.
The State of the Union address is valuable for people just beginning to take an interest in politics understanding how broken Washington is. Look at the last one and you'll get the idea, every word that comes out of Obama's mouth Biden reacts like it's the most brilliant thing ever said, meanwhile Boehner sits behind him looking like he wants to kill himself for an hour. The State of the Union address is a great one hour introduction into watching the elected officials and seeing how emphatic the "he's always right"/"he's always wrong" divide is.
Obama's most recent state of the union address was more of a stump speech than I predicted, but it still hit the main points of what he plans to do in the next four years. Giving clear, decisive goals for the future. I think that's always going to the point of the State of the Union address, and Obama did that quite well. What I think the Address needs is a redefinition so that people don't misinterpret it as something that it is not.
Has the Constitution's requirement that the president, "from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient" been repealed? My guess is that a hopeful Republican proffers this idea, one who hated watching the whole world listen to our highly intelligent, erudite black, Democratic president speak so eloquently about his vision of what America could be. He hates the thought that someone, anyone in America might have actually heard the president's message, that the country will only become the "America" we remember when she is finally free of Republican-led obstruction and regression. H/She laments the speech, is daydreaming aloud about ways to prevent future catastrophes, and came up with this lame idea. Were the State of the Union abolished, I suspect it would be reinstated - as the indispensable component to good governance it is - the moment another WASP male occupied the White House.