President Obama made his final State of the Union Address Tuesday night. Besides the internet’s jokes about Kim Davis’s sweater, Obama’s jabs at the Presidential candidates and basically everything else you tried to pay attention to, here’s five things you probably didn’t know about the SOTU.
1) It doesn’t have to be a speech
Can Obama bring up Jay-Z to rap his SOTU? No, but that would be amazing. Technically, the Constitution says the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” George Washington and John Adams chose to do it in person. But Thomas Jefferson thought it resembled a British monarch giving orders to Parliament, so he checked in with Congress through a written report. Woodrow Wilson brought back the speech side of the SOTU in 1913 and it’s basically stuck since then.