Tonight’s State of the Union will set the tone of President Obama’s final two years in office. This year marks the first time the president will deliver the annual address before a Congress entirely in the hands of his opponents, and he’ll have to make a choice: play nice, or play the “pen-and-phone” strategy.
Whatever the tone, the content of Obama’s speech is not going to sound much different than the one in 2014—and all of his speeches before that. State of the Union addresses tend to be the same year after year, a presidential policy wish list for the coming year. The fate of these recommendations is usually the same, too: most of the proposals don’t come to pass.
For a look at what did and didn’t happen last year, check out an annotated version of Obama’s 2014 speech below. (Clicking on the highlighted portions of text brings up our comments.)