Why Was Congress Reading Obama's Speech?

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Viewers at home may wonder why, when the camera pans to the audience, most of the members of Congress, cabinet, Supreme Court and Joint Chiefs have their heads down. The answer is simple: they're reading along in prettily bound commemorative copies of Obama's speech. Why, you may ask, would the the audience be given copies of the speech beforehand in this manner? After all, it potentially breeds a colder crowd (though Obama clearly isn't suffering from this problem tonight) and doesn't make for great TV. The answer, I was told a few State of the Unions back, lies in the demographics of the audience: a good number of them are old and hard of hearing. There's nothing worse than getting repeatedly interrupted by elderly statesmen yelling into a neighbor's ear, "What was that he said, again?"

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