Tracking Mentions of Infrastructure in the State of the Union

In preparation for tonight's State of the Union address, consider the role of "transportation" and "infrastructure" in previous State of the Union addresses dating back to 1999.

1 minute read

February 5, 2019, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


President George W. Bush

Rob Crandall / Shutterstock

Jeff Davis dug through 20 years of State of the Union addresses, spanning four presidential tenures, for references to transportation and infrastructure.

The record for fewest mentions of either word goes to George W. Bush, who failed to use either word in addresses from 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, or 2006. Bush used of the words in 2002 ion reference to the USA Freedom Corps, not in reference to any domestic policy. Border security was the context for Bush's mention of infrastructure in 2007, and Afghanistan was the location of new roads touted by Bush in 2008.

Davis also mentions an amusing anecdote from Bill Clinton's 2000 State of the Union that he describes as a Freudian slip: "he kept trying to promote plans to make communities more 'livable' but kept saying 'liberal' instead."

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