How to watch the State of the Union

It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over a year since President Obama took office. Tonight he addresses Congress and the country in his first State of the Union address, which will focus on the economy, health care, and the outlook for 2010.

In the age of digital technology, we’d be remiss not to share with you some cool ways to follow along with the President’s speech, and share your thoughts, and respond during tonight’s event.

NewsHour is streaming the State of the Union live, and you can submit your reactions via YouTube to share them with Jim Lehrer and the NewsHour staff.

You can also share your ending to the sentence “The State of our union is ___” by posting it on WNYC’s site looking at the state of the presidency. In past years, “strong” has been a pretty popular choice.

What happens at a State of the Union? This behind the scenes look from Benjamin Shaw at WFUV in 2007 shows the pomp and circumstance of how a president prepares for the event. There’s also a new teacher’s guide from the NewsHour to help students understand how the State of the Union works and its significance in presidential history.

The State of the Union may also give some clues as to how the Democrats will fair in the 2010 midterm elections. Patchwork Nation’s Dante Chinni provides pre-speech analysis from communities around the country.

Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have slipped in nearly all 12 of Patchwork Nation’s community types in recent months. But, more important to the 2010 elections, there is also a disconnect between how people feel about Obama and how they feel about the Democratic Party, according a recent poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. As it turns out, Obama numbers look OK compared with some numbers for the Democratic Party.

For more video features on the Obama presidency, check out this PBS video collection, which includes clips from the past year about the president’s work and the challenges he’s faced so far.

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