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Bush v. Webb, the tag cloud wars

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UPDATE: I went back and did one more analysis, telling the software to only look at the top 10 words used by Bush in his State of the Union addresses from 2001 (which was really a budget address) to 2007. The results are at the end of this post.

Fascinating. A computer representation of Bush's State of the Union and Senator Jim Webb's (D-VA) Democratic response. Andy Towle explains what this is and why it matters, also a big hat tip to blogger Jason Griffey.

All of this then got me thinking - let's compare all of Bush's State of the Union addresses against each other. So here, they are, 2001 to 2007, and then afterwards I try to pick out the keywords.

I then went back and told the software to only look for the top 10 words used in each State of the Union, and the frequency of the use of those words. I think these results are more interesting and telling.

I think this tells us more. What I see happening is the first SOTU, 2001, being a litany of programs and goals, from taxes to the budget, to social security. Then 2002, since it was 3 months after September 11, is all about patriotism and security. 2003, the year the Iraq war began, is about patriotism and war in Iraq. 2004, interestingly, is about taxes, there is no talk of war or security at all - almost an attempt to shift attention away from the Iraq war (and keep in mind, this was the presidential election year SOTU, so the Republicans went back to their old standard bearer, talking about taxes). 2005, three months after the presidential elections, it's back to SECURITY and freedom and Iraq - it's also the only year in which the word AMERICA disappears completely from the top 10. 2006, America is back with a vengeance, and the speech appears to be fluffier and more about America and the world. 2007, the one that just took place, is still about security and terrorists, but health care pops in as well.

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