Engaging Overseas Audiences on the State of the Union Address

Last night, Americans gathered around their television sets -- or computer monitors -- to watch President Barack Obama deliver the State of the Union Address. For the first time, international audiences were able to watch the State of the Union Address live on U.S. embassy and consulate websites. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) streamed the speech with a new video player, placed directly on almost 300 English-language embassy and consulate websites and Facebook pages worldwide.

Our missions in Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, and Turkey had among the highest views of the webcast, and more than 60 posts amplified the speech on social media platforms, where they engaged their online communities via Facebook and Twitter. The U.S. Mission in Melbourne noted that the hashtag #SOTU was trending on Twitter in Australia -- which demonstrates to me the interest the State of the Union Address generated overseas.

Some of our posts continued the online engagement offline by hosting viewing parties. For example, the U.S. Mission in Lahore hosted a group of Pakistani students to watch the President's remarks, and the U.S. Embassy in Accra held an event with local journalists and exchange program alumni to view and discuss the program.

The feedback we received from participants was encouraging. A group of students watching in India shared how inspired they were by the President, and a viewer in Russia said that she believed in the power of people to create change. One viewer in Iraq noted that he woke up extra early in the morning to make sure he didn't miss the President's address.

Fortunately, not everyone had to set their alarm clocks early to watch the speech! To reach the part of the world that was asleep during the live event, we are rebroadcasting the State of the Union Address today in a 24-hour loop. International audiences across all time zones will be able to see the President's remarks. This pilot program is part of our ongoing efforts to find new and innovative ways to create global conversations and connect publics around the world, a hallmark of 21st Century Statecraft.



Connecticut, USA
January 26, 2012

Gary in Connecticut writes:

Too bad the President spent only 6 minutes on foreign policy matters. Should have been a whole lot more.

United States
January 26, 2012

Kyley in the U.S.A. writes:

Obama has spoken. I can't bide time until a mil outraged citizens showing up throughout DC to demand Obama do the correct thing. When pigs travel? The White-colored House Company of Nationwide Drug Manage Policy web site says cigarette smoking marijuana "is not considered current medicine. " That says this drug includes a high possibility of abuse, the smoke will be as harmful since cigarettes, and it has not been proven effective beneath standards in the Food as well as Drug Operations. The Proper rights Department won't usually prosecute medical-marijuana consumers, but administrators of various other federal specialists say they are required to treat pot as a possible illegal drug. "We're billed with enforcing federal law, " claims Border Patrol spokeswoman Kelly Ivahnenko. Landlords "may physical exercise discretion" in deciding whether or not to evict tenants whom use healthcare marijuana, says Sue Kanovsky, general counsel to the Department involving Housing along with Urban Improvement. New Mexico HUD supervisor Mandy Griego suggests HUD's plan is this pot, "for medicinal purposes as well as not, " will be prohibited with HUD-subsidized qualities, and termination for possession "must be reproduced consistently for all those tenants.

Michelle H.
Washington, USA
January 26, 2012

Michelle H. in Washington writes:

This is an excellent diplomatic tool. The more people view the SOTU in places like Pakistan and Iraq, the more they will see how very much we global citizens are alike as opposed to just hearing vitriole propaganda. This is especially true because I can attest to the fact that a very large percentage of what was said were the very words of the Spirit and Wisdom of the US as captured over the years, as opposed to just a campaign stump speech. They should respond to it just as strongly and postively as they did here in the U.S. The day all embrace and see the truth of this is the day real world peace can be achieved. Thank you for your commitment to this imperative goal now and in the near future to save our world.

Virginia, USA
January 26, 2012

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

The speech was excellent by President Obama, I would say that when he blocked the oil pipeline from Canada to the United States, he blocked 20,0000 new jobs. My hunch is because of our relationship with oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia who just purchased arms from our country. If were ever going to move ahead with energy in our country, we should have some trust with the Canadians who speak our own language. Instead of being dictated by the large oil producing countries in the Middle East who charges us everytime we go to the pump to buy gas.

We should be moving more tons of cargo by trains in the United States, when is the last time rails have been added to create new jobs, new train engines that can move tons of cargo or passengers from one coast to another safely. Its a wonderful idea to have a high speed train, but will it be affordable for passengers, will it be safe to the public? Everyday, thousands of tracker trailers are on the roads, when cargo could be more transported by the use of rail and save our nation capitol and save fuel. General Motors is a great company but when do they plan on coming up with a vehicle that gets 100 miles to a gallon on gas? Could it be because the Car companies and oil companies work hand in hand on making money? In the United Kingdom on TOP Gear show, a vehicle went from Geneva Switzerland to Blackpool, England on one tank of gas. A Jaguar in England also doubling on fuel economy in Britian when our same Jaguar in the United States burns more gas on the highways. I think its time for United States to wake up! If UK can sell vehicles that get better fuel economy to one gallon of gas, we should have these vehicles on our roads saving dollars and reducing our demand for fuel.

Were suppose to have the brightest people in the United States but we continue to do the same type of things over and over again. Good example: We still build wooden homes, knowing that towns across our country get hit with Cat 5 storms. The insanity about banks, business and insurance is "When do we start building homes that can survive natural disasters instead of building homes that look good? Safe built homes should be the "American trademark" of American homes and buisnesses." Why should Americans buy homes, when storms destroy them? The years of paying taxes on homes or land property, when you first purchase your home or sell it agreed everyone should pay a one time tax on that property, but then you should be able to own your home or property after the taxes were paid, and without having to pay taxes on the same property for years when nobody knows the future or the economy when people are thrown out of their homes after buying them, to be put on the streets, paying 30 years to a bank, then put out of home or business.

How can American families send their kids to college when the prices of everything has skyrocketed?

Because not all Americans receive grants or scholarships to attend college. There will always be two classes. "Rich and poor in the United States" After these wars and the bankers who mislead the public, the prices are just too high for people to share the same dreams. Then we all have other expenses, when things break in the home and have repair bills on top of everything else.

Good day everyone! Peace Out! & Godbless!

January 26, 2012

W.W. writes:

"The American people are beginning to catch on that there`s something fundamentally wrong in our society when so few have so much and so many have so little," Bernie said after President Obama made economic fairness a key theme in his State of the Union address.

If evereybody can be poor everybody can be rich

poor and middleclasser rights are human rights

Anita W.
California, USA
January 26, 2012

Anita W. in California writes:

Mr. President, Please put your message on the MTA bus, in Spanish, in South Central LA.

K. M.
United States
January 26, 2012

Marx in the U.S.A. writes:

Loved the speech - especially the part about economic justice to crush the rich with more taxes and militarize the unemployed proletariat.

New Mexico, USA
January 26, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Hi Donald M.,

Happy new year and all, just a couple thoughts on your post;

Re Keystone- First I gotta say that I'm sorely tempted to add this bit of domestic partisan dysfunctionality into the book; "The Cure for Political Stupidity and/or How Not to go to War with America(the idiot's guide)"

- as Congress didn't give the State dept. or the President any choice but to reject the project for the following reasons;

A) As you may be aware, any major project must have an attached Environmental Assesment including in its publication, public comment of which a min. of 30 days is given to the public to submit. Any modification(or in this case re-routing, must as well have a EA attached...by law.

b) No administration can violate a state's right to object to a project (unless on federal lands) and this goes directly to State's rights vs. Federal rights as a constititional issue in general terms.

That the governor of Nebraska and the public had objection to the initial routing is on record, necessitating a search for an acceptable route through this state be found and all studies done, including a new EA by law.

c) Congress only gave the admin. 60 days to get it done...(an impossible task in that time-frame), attached this requirement to legislation that was totally unrelated, and which the President signed into law to keep a whole lot of folks' heads above water in getting their unemployment checks (for one ex. )

It's like Congress gave the admin. "Sophie's choice" in this matter, and I find the blatent hypocracy of the way Congress went about giving this to the President to be worthy of inclusion in the above titled work, as it does involve Foreign Affairs and the work has been written and published on Dipnote over the past 4+ years (raw and unedited...chuckle).

If Congress wanted to, they could recind their Keystone blunder, call for State to complete their review, and get this moving and approved within 18 months, and with a little diplomacy, I'm pretty sure the Canadians will forgive the political stupidity involved and the American people won't feel like some fools in Congress have just declared economic war on us.

As a construction worker Donald, I know who's been "killing jobs" and it ain't the President.

My only regret is that the President in his remarks on Iran didn't include notice to Congress that he was sending a $32 Trillion bill to be sent to the Ayatollah for their malevolence of foreign policy intent in chanting "death to America" all these years.

Erasing the deficit with the stroke of a pen + putting about $47,000 in the pockets of every man, woman, and child in America.

Now I'd call THAT an economic stimulous (subject to collection action).

I think it goes without saying that one cannot determine the "peaceful intent" of their nuclear program while the Iranian gov. leads chants of "death to America" every Friday at Prayers, and in order to stop their intent, we're going to have to consider this a "billable offense" not a matter of "freedom of expression" and treat this rhetoric as a hate crime against humanity with genocidal implications as the stated foreign policy of a hostile nation.

If bringing the gov. of Iran to the table in serious negotiation is the intent of the State dept. I know of no better way to augment sanctions to do so, with the immediate affect of getting that abysmal government's undivided attention.



January 26, 2012

John in Canada writes:

@ Donald M. in Virginia Nice to hear some common sense for a change.

Capitalist countries will do better when they separate the money system from capitalism and view money for the tool that it is.

Somehow the money systems, like a parasite have attached to capitalism and people think of them as one in the same. They are not.

Apply your common sense to the money system and you will soon see how it is a parasite on capitalism - the biggest threat to capitalism really.

If you separate the two and understand that the so called money system is really a giant debt system; have Geitner come on in here and deny it- I would go toe to toe and run circles around any Harvard grad on this one; - you can then begin to see how this has negatively impacted every part of society.

Its bad for business, bad for governments, bad for people. At least in its current form.

If we were to redesign the money systems mechanics - everything that is currently a problem would no longer be a problem. People could be successful, wealthy without generating poverty. It is possible but not under the current system we use.

Up here in Canada the head of the central bank just came out and announced that Canadians are holding $1.5 debt to every $1 of cash. How can Canadians pay their debt if there is not enough cash to pay the debt? Remember this is coming from the guy who oversees the printing of the money to pay that debt.

$1.50 debt + $1 cash + $1 asset = your broke and have not enough cash to pay for anything.

I understand what the economic zombies would say to counter this but I would suggest they just look around globally and learn some common sense (if that's possible)- what they have said and are saying is not true.

Until they speak some truth it will worsen.Until we acknowledge this as the problem it is - we are screwed rich or poor.

If I was rich - I would not want to be standing on top of 6 billion strong mass of pissed off people - most of which will physically hold any gun that exists(the rich wont pick up a gun - I wonder who would protect the wealthy if money becomes worthless?)

Frankly the wealthy should be freaking like the so called 99% because they are under threat also - our mutual enemy is the mechanics of this money system.

Most of the 99% could care less about being rich. The rich could have a lot more wealth if the 99% actually had money instead of vast amounts of debt.

Rich or poor - democrat or republican its the money stupid; that's the problem.

Again if there is not enough cash in the system to pay the debt - debt cannot be paid, can it? So why are people losing homes? Why are publicly funded court systems listening to debt cases; when the debt is by design and the ability to pay that debt is just not physically possible?

If I were a business or held any assets I would be freaking.

If there is not enough cash to pay debts then what are the assets really worth? What can my customers buy? What future is there under this scam? But not a peep because 99.99 % DON'T UNDERSTAND THE DEBT/CASH RELATIONSHIP.

Something is worth what can be paid or someone is willing to pay. And we don't have enough to pay for either the assets out there or the debts.

Again in Canada not a peep on this issue - when this should spur people to take to the streets. My government parades around talking about how sound it all is. Nonsense. If you fall from 100 feet or a thousand feet your still doomed.

Debt is a problem - a monster of a problem - our cash system generates all this debt and it can never be paid - no amount of tax increase will help - no amount of trade will help. The best we can do is shift ever growing numbers of poverty from one place to another.

The west is holding the bag of poverty now - do we like it? Think the Chinese want it? Thats really what we are offering when we trade with them.

Do you think China can save the world from debt without absorbing massive amounts of debt; driving them back to the economic stone age for decades? Ironically this would cause us to fail also.

The game that even if you win you lose - what a joke. I could design a more sophisticated s system.That actually works.

This is not what a modern society is made of.

Capitalism must distance itself from the money systems and acknowledge that this parasite is causing problems - it will kill capitalism.

If ever there was a representation of lucifer on this earth - the money systems are it.

Virginia, USA
January 27, 2012

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ John in Canada and Eric in New Mexico

Thanks guys glad were all still blogging!

"In the end we place alot of leadership on the President when people of the United States can make a difference if they all chip in and help out."

President Obama Delivers the 2012 State of the Union Address
Posted by Dawn McCall
January 25, 2012


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