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Five tips for watching State of the Union from CBS News’s Major Garrett

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He’s covered more than 20 State of the Union addresses since 1991, so who better than CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett to give ITK readers the lowdown on what to look out for Tuesday night?

{mosads}From gimmicks to drinking-game buzzwords, Garrett, an author and “Face the Nation” substitute anchor, shares his words of wisdom before President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m.

Here are Garrett’s top five tips for getting the most out Obama’s speech:

“1. This is the first pre-meditated hashtag State of the Union. Watch Twitter for hashtags on the president’s community college, paid leave, and tax proposals to gauge social media engagement and judge effectiveness of White House strategy to push its message beyond Beltway.

2. Watch Rep. Paul Ryan [R-Wis.], … chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Taxes and trade will run through his committee and he will set the tone for those debates and indirectly set the tone for the budget process as well.

3. Speaking of trade, listen for the number of sentences President Obama devotes to Trade Promotion authority and the nearly finished Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Coalitions are building on both sides, the White House is creating a war room and the anti-trade wing of the Democratic Party is digging in. Obama will set the stage with how much emphasis he places on this priority.

4. Search for 2016 gimmicks. Will Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) try to grab any of the spotlight before, during, or after the speech? There’s camera time available. Will they lie low or try to stand out?

5. Who cries besides Speaker [John] Boehner [R-Ohio]? Who laughs? Who takes a nap? Who buddies up to Chief Justice [John] Roberts (with Affordable Care Act and gay marriage decisions looming)?

Bonus — Your drinking-game State of the Union word: ‘growth’ ”

Tags Boehner Elizabeth Warren Marco Rubio Paul Ryan Rand Paul Ted Cruz
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