Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quantifying the President’s Speech

Not exactly what I thought I'd see, given the headline but interesting all the same.
From the NYT's Freakonomics blog:

Our friends at have put together a really fun tool to help you mine their database of the full text of all past State of the Union addresses (as well inaugurals). It’s a fun way of tracking which issues have occupied the minds of our leaders. The brains behind Speech Wars, Ben Reis, just sent me his lightning analysis of last night’s speech:

Obama is the first president in history to use the words “bailouts,” “laundry,” “drapes,” “cyber,” “messes,” and “pandemic” in a State of the Union address.

– Obama used the word “crisis” 11 times — more than twice as much as any other president. Hoover used it only four times in 1932 during the Great Depression.

– Obama said “layoffs,” “invest,” and “entrepreneurs” more than any other president.

– Obama is only the second president to use the words “ferret,” “biofuels,” and “hybrids.”