White House releases SOTU text early
© Francis Rivera

The State of the Union was early.

The White House intentionally released the text of President Obama’s State of the Union address about 20 minutes before he even walked into the floor of the House on Tuesday evening.

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 Publication of the remarks on the blog publishing service Medium was meant as an act of transparency, the White House said. While journalists and insiders often get a copy of the speech minutes before the president takes to the microphone, the general public is usually left in the dark. 

The move also allowed the White House to complement Obama's speech with extra infographics and statistics relating to the president’s remarks.

“On Medium, you can follow along with the speech as you watch in real time, view charts and infographics on key areas, tweet favorite lines, and leave notes,” the White House said.

“By making the text available to the public in advance, the White House is continuing efforts to reach a wide online audience and give people a range of ways to consume the speech.”

It was the first time the White House had released the text of the remarks before they were uttered by the president.  

The tactic was part of a strategy from the Obama administration to reach directly to Americans around the country on the Internet, rather than relying on pundits and news analysts. In addition to publishing the remarks, the White House is also releasing a “river of content” — such as graphics and evidence that back up Obama’s claims — through the Internet.