The Plain Dealer, a newspaper based in Cleveland, Ohio, quoted political science professor and presidential scholar Shirley Anne Warshaw in an article about the State of the Union address. The article focuses on the importance of the State of the Union address to outline a president's policy agenda while hopefully improving his approval rating, particularly when entering an election year.
From the Plain Dealer:
The State of the Union address is awash in symbols of comity, with the president speaking before a joint session of Congress and with some Republicans and Democrats sitting together. Yet the speeches are unmistakably political, too.
“Remember, what we’re talking about in the modern State of the Union address is that it is a public relations effort by the president to highlight what his priorities are and where he’s moving forward,” said Shirley Anne Warshaw, a political science professor at Gettysburg College who has written extensively on presidential decision-making. She said the State of the Union address is important for reminding Americans that the president is the nation’s policy leader, but she notes the speeches’ other purpose: “They are to energize his base.”