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The Serious Challenge of Global [_______ ______]

Seven days ago, on January 23rd, the President of the United States stood in front of a joint session of congress and gave his 2007 State of the Union address. This year however was slightly different.

Standing behind him was Nancy Pelosi – the first female Speaker of the House and therefore the first woman in history to stand on the podium during a State of the Union address. Ms Pelosi is also second in the line of presidential succession… no woman has ever been closer to the US presidency.

Furthermore, 2007 was also the first time President Bush used the phrases ‘climate change’ and ‘alternative fuels’ in a State of the Union address.

Thanks to The Guardian, I have discovered the New York Times’ textual analysis tool specifically designed for President Bush’s seven State of the Union addresses – it’s a pretty cool tool.

You type in a word and it tells you when, how often and in what sense he used it. For example, the peak year for “democracy” was 2005 (before the 2003 Iraq invasion, Mr Bush had used it only once); for the one and only mention of climate change you have to wait until 2007. [I wonder] why “hope” went from a low of two mentions in 2004 to a high of 20 in 2006.

       Pre-September 11th: 1
       Post-September 11th: 19
       Pre-September 11th: 1
       Post-September 11th: 144