How To Read The State Of The Union Early

On Tuesday night, the American public will see the end of an era, even though President Obama's second term isn't quite over just yet. Namely, it'll be the last State of the Union address of his presidency. And if you're wondering how you can read the State of the Union address ahead of time, rest assured you'll have a chance to scan Obama's remarks before he actually delivers them,

At least, that's how it went last year. In advance of the 2015 SOTU, the White House posted the entire transcript (as prepared for delivery) on its Medium page. This was the first time they'd gone this route, and it was certainly a boon to anybody who wanted to follow along at home. Having a leg up on what was going to be said meant that one could anticipate the controversial applause lines, the soaring moments, and the places where the Republicans were likely to start gnashing their teeth. In short, it's a pretty handy resource.

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This year, if you want to read the address early, you'd be well-advised to check the same resource: the White House's Medium page. Note that the window of time between "availability" and "oh damn, the actual speech is starting" was pretty slim last year ― the post went up about 22 minutes before the start of the SOTU, which went down at 9:00 p.m. ET Jan. 20.

In other words, if you want to get a head start on things, you might have to be pretty attentive, because they obviously don't want to release the speech too early. After all, there's no sense in giving away the game too soon, right? It'll be interesting to see what Obama decides to devote his speaking time to, considering this might be his last chance to do so on such a stage. If you had to bet on it, it's probably safe to assume that he'll spend some time looking backwards as well as forwards, arguing for the long-term legacy of his administration now that the end is rapidly approaching. But who really knows? None of us will — until that text is released Tuesday night, that is.